Juliet Butler on the suffering and resilience of Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova, two mismatched souls bound up in the same body. By Joanne Latimer August 8, Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova were born in Moscow in with two heads, two torsos, two arms and one leg each, and a third, vestigial limb at the back. Butler, who speaks Russian, had a close personal relationship with Masha and Dasha over a year period while living in Moscow with her Russian husband and their children. Working as a journalist and translator, Butler first saw the twins on television in when they made a successful plea to be moved to a different institution. The twins agreed to meet with Butler because she was a Westerner, and Butler eventually helped Masha write an autobiography, which was published in Germany, among other places, in It covers the years of torture endured by the twins at the hands of Russian scientists, and it details the constant battle between Masha and Dasha to assert their individuality. What emerges is a heart-breaking portrait of two mismatched souls trapped in a conjoined body.
The twins released an album called Polovinki in , and have appeared in a made-for-TV movie in Russia. They are the eldest of three children and they have one younger sister. Their first mentor in singing was their mother who is a music teacher. At the age of nine, the sisters represented Russia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest , Romania after being selected from 20 acts in the national final held on 4 June In , the sisters made an appearance at the opening act of the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia. In , the sisters were part of an interval act at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk , Belarus where previous winners of the contest sang their winning songs in a medley. The Tolmachevy Sisters were chosen to represent Russia via internal selection with the song " Shine " in the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark after being internally selected by Russian television. The Tolmachevy Sisters were the subject of booing from the audience, during the semi-final and when they qualified into final. At the Eurovision Song Contest , both sisters were members of the professional Russian jury. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
They were removed from their mother's custody at birth to be studied by Soviet physiologists. Their mother was told that her daughters had died soon after their birth. The Soviet physiologist Pyotr Anokhin was studying the separate roles of the nervous system and the blood system on the body's ability to adjust to conditions such as prolonged sleep deprivation, extreme hunger, and extreme temperature change. He had put out an alert to all maternity hospitals in the USSR to be informed if any conjoined twins were born. He began studying Masha and Dasha within days of their birth. Masha and Dasha's mother, Yekaterina Krivoshlyapova, did not know she was having twins and spent two days and nights giving birth naturally. They were born joined at the waist at a degree angle with two heads, two torsos, four arms and one leg each, and a third, vestigial limb at their back that had some movement.
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