Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a plea to women, urging them to contemplate the possibility of expanding their families by having as many as eight children.
This call comes as Russia grapples with a population crisis, made worse by the war situation. Speaking at the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow, Putin emphasized the need to revive the tradition of large families, calling it a vital aspect of the country’s cultural and moral heritage.
Drawing on the examples set by previous generations, Putin stated, “Let us preserve and revive these excellent traditions.
Large families must become the norm, a way of life for all of Russia’s people. The family is not just the foundation of the state and society; it is a spiritual phenomenon, a source of morality.”
The President’s address comes at a time when Russia has been grappling with declining birth rates for decades, which have been further compounded by the Ukraine conflict and its subsequent economic repercussions.
The war has resulted in an estimated 900,000 individuals fleeing Ukraine and an additional 300,000 enlisted to fight, exacerbating Russia’s workforce crisis.
Statistical analyses conducted by Russian media outlets in July suggested that approximately 50,000 Russian men had lost their lives in the war.
Russia’s Population Crisis and Labor Shortages
According to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Russia is believed to have suffered up to 290,000 casualties among its soldiers during the war.
With a declining population, the situation has prompted concerns about the shortage of labor in various sectors of the economy.
While Putin has previously introduced incentives and government assistance to encourage childbirth, the impact has been limited.
Despite these efforts, Russia’s population as of January 1, as reported by Rosstat, stood at 146,447,424 – lower than the figure recorded in 1999 when Putin assumed the presidency.
The call to increase childbirth faces additional challenges, with some Russians claiming that promised economic support for large families, including land allocation, failed to materialize.
As Russia looks towards the future, President Putin stressed the urgency of preserving and growing the nation’s population.
Meanwhile, experts underscore the pressing need to address the intricacies of the population crisis, including the shortage of labor, in order to secure a stable and prosperous future for the nation.
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