An 84-year-old Russian actor famed for his appearances in Soviet-era films has married his 24-year-old former student.
Ivan Krasko and Natalya Shevel met while he was teaching at a university in St Petersburg, where the pair bonding over a shared love of poetry.
“There were two lonely people, and they alone have decided to support each other,” the father-of-six said in an interview with REN TV, putting people’s fascination and criticism down to the “question of sexuality”.
Krasko added: “For us it does not matter. I wish that Natalia could have a daughter, but it’s the dream of an elderly idiot.
“Simply, we need each other.”
For their wedding in St Petersberg on Wednesday, he proudly wore the naval uniform that he first put on in the 1950s as the commander of an amphibious Soviet assault ship.
Krasko, who will turn 85 in two weeks, went on to graduate from the Leningrad Theatre Institute and became famous for appearances in dozens of Russian films, television series and plays.
Shevel is his fourth wife, following his last divorce in 2011 from Natalya Shchepinsky, who was 47 years his junior.
She told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that he proposed by getting down on one knee and offering her a diamond ring on the St Petersburg metro.
Shevel defended their relationship from criticism, describing how they “gradually got closer acquainted” and she realised that she “needed” him.
“In this age they do almost anything, we already have single-sex marriage and so on,” she added.
“Anyone who loves and respects Ivan Ivanovich [Krasko] should love and respect his choice, be happy for him that he is well, that he still has some sort of life and that he can be happy. Why is that bad?”
Shevel said her husband, who also has three grandchildren, has “promised” her at least seven years together.
The couple were married at the Admiralteisky District Civil Registry Office and are honeymooning in France and Italy.Reuse content