Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging women to make large families “the norm” by having eight or more children as the death toll climbs in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Russia’s birth rate fell steeply in 1989 and has remained low ever since, according to MacroTrends, which shows Russia’s birth rate from 1950 to the present. There was a slight increase in the early 2000s, but the rate began to decline again in 2014, the same year Russia invaded the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.
Russia’s current birth rate is 11.329 births per 1,000 people, which is a 2.48 percent decline from 2022, which had a birth rate of 11.617 per 1,000 people. In fact, data the birth rate has been consistently declining by around 2 percent since 2019.
Russia has had more than 300,000 casualties since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, according to the latest data from Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.
The latest on Russia's war against Ukraine
Putin said in his speech Tuesday at the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow that increasing the Russian population will be “our goal for the coming decades”.
“Many of our peoples maintain the tradition of the family, where four, five or more children are raised,” Putin said, translated by the Independent. “Recall that in Russian families our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had both 7 and 8 children. Let us preserve and revive these traditions. Having many children, a large family, should become a norm, a way of life for all the peoples of Russia.”
This is not the first time that the Russian president has pushed to increase the birth rate in Russia. He has even implemented incentives, including giving monetary rewards to families with more than one child.
Putin himself is only known to have two daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, with his former wife Lyudmila. However, he is rumored to have more children from his alleged affairs with millionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Alina Kabaeva.
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