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The great-niece of Leo Tolstoy from childhood was distinguished by an independent disposition and a desire for independence. Alexandra Tolstaya, born in the city of Poole on the English coast of the English Channel, has always been distinguished by determination. She longed to achieve success in the profession and became a brilliant TV presenter, wanted to travel to her historical homeland in Russia and achieved her goal. But all her dreams of simple female happiness were suddenly broken, and after two marriages she was left alone with three children in her arms.
With a dream of Russia
Alexandra Tolstoy's grandfather emigrated to Great Britain after the revolution and even managed to win the Windsor's favor. Longing for his homeland did not torment him, and all his heirs felt great in their new place. Alexandra Tolstaya, born in 1974, was brought up like any other English girl: she attended school, learned secular manners and enjoyed horseback riding.
Alexandra differed from her peers only by a sincere interest in her roots, she enjoyed reading the works of Leo Tolstoy and passionately dreamed of visiting her historical homeland. Her dream came closer when, in the 1980s, her father, Count Nikolai Tolstoy, wrote the book Victims of Yalta about the repression of the Cossacks who returned to the Soviet Union. The work received worldwide recognition and aroused interest in the USSR, and its author was given the opportunity to obtain Soviet citizenship. Together with him, Alexandra received the coveted red book with the coat of arms on the cover.
This allowed her to get to Russia in the early 1990s, where, thanks to the participation of Vasily Livanov, a famous actor and friend of the Tolstoy family, she got acquainted with Moscow and Russian life. Upon her return, the girl decided to study Russian language and literature at the University of Edinburgh. She became the only one of all her relatives who spoke Russian.
After graduating from university, Alexandra became a broker on the London Stock Exchange, where she was engaged in the sale of Russian shares. But she did not find her work interesting and soon she was frankly bored. Thirst for adventure led to the fact that she happily responded to her friend's rather adventurous offer to travel along the Great Silk Road, which was supposed to last about a year.
From a journey with love
The journey began in Ashgabat, where the travelers arrived. It was there that the question arose about the need to have a guide in the team, who had to not only be well-versed in the terrain, but could still stay in the saddle, since they were going to ride on horseback.
Unexpectedly, fate gave them a surprise in the form of meeting Shamil Galimzyanov, an employee of the Tashkent hippodrome and master of sports in show jumping. He accompanied them for three months while the girls moved around the territory of the former Soviet Union. Shamil fell in love with Alexandra literally at first sight, but was in no hurry to admit this to the girl, fearing to be rejected. But he had the opportunity to verify the reciprocal feelings of Countess Tolstoy.
When Shamil brought the travelers to the border with China, he had to return due to lack of a visa. Alexandra, after thinking carefully, decided that she and Shamil could not have a joint future, which she honestly wrote to the young man.
At the end of the trip, Alexandra Tolstaya began work on the book "The Last Secrets of the Silk Road", and soon decided to repeat her experience and go on a journey again. This time her thoughts turned to Siberia and Mongolia. She again needed a guide, and Shamil became one again.
Alexandra returned from this trip, determined to introduce Shamil to her family. She could no longer imagine herself without him and was going to defend her right to love. However, no one was going to challenge this right, and the girl's parents gave their permission to marry. For the sake of the opportunity to marry his chosen one, Shamil even accepted the Orthodox faith. In September 2003, the wedding of Alexandra Tolstoy and Shamil Galimzyanov took place.
At first, they both did not notice any problems. Only the wise mother of Shamil once noticed in an interview that her son was from peasants, and his wife was a countess, and that says it all. Alexandra did not care at all that her husband's income level was very modest.
Alexandra, firstly, was generously supported by her parents, and secondly, she herself actively worked, earning income from publishing books, collaborating with travel agencies, starring in a series of BBC films as a host. The couple lived in Moscow, and Alexandra even helped her husband organize excursions to Kyrgyzstan.
Shards of happiness
And Countess Tolstaya took up teaching English. Among her students was the Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachev. She honestly tried to fight her sympathy. As Shamil later admits, his wife rushed between him and Pugachev for a long time, but after that she chose a new life, especially since she was already waiting for the birth of a son from her lover. Later, Countess Tolstaya will honestly tell you that she was simply tired of being a breadwinner in the family and wanted to feel like just a woman.
In 2009, the girl gave birth to Sergei Pugachev's son Alexei, and later filed a divorce from Shamil. Sergei Pugachev, by the way, left his wife, but was in no hurry to formalize the divorce. But at the same time, he took upon himself all the worries about his new family, providing completely to Alexander Tolstaya and their children. After Alexei, they had another son, Ivan, and a daughter, Maria, in 2010 and 2012, respectively. It seems that everything in this family was good, except for one thing: they never formalized their relationship.
And in 2015, Sergei Pugachev did not appear at the anniversary of Count Tolstoy's father Alexandra and simply fled to France after being accused of financial fraud. Countess Tolstoy's common-law husband was put on the international wanted list. True, Pugachev offered Alexandra to move with him with the children, but she refused. In response, Sergei stopped sending her money to support the children, and their London house was under arrest.
Alexandra Tolstaya was left alone with three children in her arms, moved to a small house in the suburbs and began to think about how to secure her future. Now she knows for sure: in any situation, you need to maintain independence and not rely on a man.
At first glance, everything was decorous in the family of Leo Tolstoy himself. Only wife, marriage for love. But Sophia Tolstaya knew better than others about demons, who tortured her husband. Many of the writer's works are autobiographical and, of course, each of them reflects the author's worldview. And Tolstoy's biography is no less interesting than his novels.