Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot remain far from the headlines as he is back in news with his latest announcement of restoring a Soviet-era award that was originally instituted by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in order to boost Russia’s declining population.
The award known as ‘Mother Heroine’ will be given bestowed upon women who have 10 or more children as soon as their tenth child turns one year old. The reward will also comprise a handsome amount of 1 million rubles amounting to roughly $16,000/ ₹13,12,000 paid one time. The mothers will still qualify for the title even if any of their children die as a consequence of battle or as a result of any terrorist activity and/ or emergency conditions.
According to the decree, the title is on the same level in terms of the status as high-ranking state orders like the Hero of Russia and Hero of Labor. The award was first started in 1944 owing to the loss of population at large during the second world war and was in place until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
This comes at a time when Russia is facing a serious demographical change and Putin has called for cardinal measures in order to keep a check on it. The country has seen a massive decline in population over the past few years with events such as its conflict with Ukraine that have only fuelled the Russian worries.
At the moment the country has been witnessing a decline in population for decades and since 2021, the population declined by almost double due to Covid and if the same is considered since 2020, the decline has nearly tripled. As of today, the Russian population stands at a mere 14.5 crores which is 6 crores less than the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
The measures to increase population had to be implemented sooner or later in a country of that big a size as Russia. A strong and huge working population becomes even more important for Putin’s surprising and arguably dangerous plans which probably people close to him only know about.