Russian President Vladimir Putin offers cash and an honorary title to mothers in Russia who have at least ten children, since his country faces a shrinking population.
The leader of Russia will revive the “Mother Heroine” prize, which was first established under the mandate of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1944 and was awarded to more than 400,000 women before being eliminated after the fall of the USSR, in 1991.
The decree was signed by President Vladimir Putin this week for the award to be given to a woman who “gives birth to and raises” 10 Russian citizens, the CNBC report added. The title also carries a reward of 1 million Russian rubles (Rs 13.62 lakh).
The award requires children to receive “an appropriate level of care for health, education, physical, spiritual and moral development,” CNBC said. He added that qualified women will undergo an evaluation process, but no further details have been released.
The title “Hero Mother” is on par with other high-ranking state orders like “Hero of Russia” and “Hero of Labour,” the Moscow Times said.
Mr Putin had first offered to reinstate the title during the Children’s Day holiday in Russia on June 1, the outlet added.
According to a decree issued last week, “a one million rubles (equivalent to 16,400 dollars) will be granted to a mother who is a citizen of the Russian Federation, who has given birth and raised ten or more children who are citizens of the Russian Federation.”
Russia’s population shrank by a record average of 86,000 people per month between January and May, state statistics agency Rosstat said.
The decline surpasses the previous record contraction of 57,000 people per month in 2002, when Russia’s population fell to 145.3 million from nearly 146 million the previous year.
Russia’s population has fallen to 145.1 million after a drop of 430,000 people, according to Rosstat’s latest population report.
The rate of Russian population decline has nearly doubled since 2021 and nearly tripled since 2020, according to the Russian service of the Moscow Times.
Russia’s population has been in near-constant decline for decades, and the coronavirus pandemic has caused the country’s largest natural population decline since the end of the Soviet Union in 2021.
Data from Rosstat showed that Russia’s natural population – a figure that counts registered deaths and births, excluding the effects of migration – fell by 355,000 between January and May 2022.
Russia’s population has been declining for several decades. Figures published in July by the state statistics agency Rosstat showed that it fell to 145.1 million.
This happened after a decrease of approximately 86,000 people per month during the first six months of the year, a record.
It is estimated that Russia’s population will fall to around 132 million in the next two decades, and the United Nations predicts that, in the worst case, its population could be reduced by almost half, to only 83 million at the beginning of the next century.
The demographic crisis is joined, according to some estimates, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers who have died in the invasion of Ukraine on Putin’s orders, and the hundreds of thousands of people who have left the country because of the war.
Experts believe that Russia’s high level of population decline is mainly due to the pandemic – either as a direct cause or as an accompanying disease.
“Covid-19 is not a joke, not the ‘flu’, the losses are quite severe,” Professor Kalabikhina told RBC.
Demographer Denisenko is convinced that the coronavirus pandemic contributes 60-65% to the natural decline. However, this statistic does not correspond to reality.
The absolute record of mortality among people infected with Covid-19 was recorded in Russia in November 2021. At that time, 87,500 people died from the coronavirus and its consequences. In December, the disease was the leading cause of death for 54,600 people and a total of 215,500 people died that month.
Taking past data from Rosstat into account, Covid-19 claimed the lives of 517,800 Russians for the whole of 2021. This is 3.2 times more than the previous year. A total of 681,100 people have died in Russia since the start of the pandemic in which the coronavirus was considered the main or concomitant cause of death, according to data from Rosstat.
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