Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow, urged women to have as many as eight children, emphasizing the need to make large families the norm. This call comes as Russia has been experiencing a decline in its birth rate since the 1990s. Additionally, the country has faced over 300,000 casualties since the beginning of the Ukraine War in February the previous year, according to a report by The Independent.
Putin expressed concern about the falling birth rate in Russia, stating that increasing the population will be a crucial goal for the coming decades. He highlighted the rich tradition of strong, multigenerational families with four, five, or more children within various ethnic groups in the country. The president encouraged the revival of these traditions, emphasizing that large families should become the norm and a way of life for all Russian people. According to him, families are not only the foundation of the state and society but also a spiritual phenomenon and a source of morality.
In his address, Putin underscored the significance of preserving and increasing Russia’s population, considering it a goal for both the near future and generations to come. He asserted that this effort is essential for the future of the Russian world, representing the millennia-old, eternal Russia. The full speech is available on the Russian President’s official website.
The conference where Putin made these remarks was organized by the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, and included representatives from various traditional organizations in Russia. Although Putin’s comments did not explicitly reference the casualties from the Ukraine War, some outlets have connected them to the ongoing conflict. The UK’s defense ministry estimated that the number of Russian casualties in Ukraine had likely surpassed 300,000. Additionally, an independent Russian policy group, Re: Russia, reported that an estimated 820,000-920,000 people have fled the country in response to the conflict.
The aftermath of the Ukraine War has presented challenges for Russia, including a severe workforce shortage and an economic slowdown due to sanctions imposed by the West. The Independent reported that Russia’s population on January 1, 2023, stood at 146,447,424, which is lower than the figure recorded in 1999 when Putin assumed the presidency.
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