Published On: Fri, Jan 5th, 2024

Vladimir Putin warned ‘clumsy’ attempts to solve population crisis won’t save Russia | World | News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been warned that “clumsy” attempts to reverse Russia‘s declining population won’t be enough to save his country amid a bloody war he launched against Ukraine.

Russia‘s population was on the decline well before the war in Ukraine, but Putin appears to be attempting to fix the problem with a series of conservative measures aimed, at least in part, at encouraging Russians to have more children.

Putin recently suggested Russian women should have larger families – with as many as eight children – and lawmakers have floated the idea of a tax on childlessness.

In addition, Russia is cracking down on LGBTQ+ rights and there have been attempts to begin to restrict abortion – the latter move has met with outrage in Russia.

Speaking to Daily Express US, former advisor to Ukraine‘s Parliament Mykola Volkivskyi said that the return to “traditional values” in Russia was a power grab by Putin ahead of the March 2024 election as well as a “clumsy” attempt to solve the country’s demographic problem.

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin crisis as Russians opposing rule urged to spray graffiti

He said: “Clumsy attempts to solve the demographic problem are just the tip of the iceberg. It is rather a public demonstration of ‘care’ for the population and the state in the light of the presidential election.

“The losses in the war are not publicly voiced, victory rhetoric replaces analyses of the real state of affairs.

“Although already in the summer Russian defence enterprises lacked up to 40 percent of the workforce. Now the Russian authorities are trying to invite not only migrants who do not even know the Russian language but also highly qualified foreign specialists.”

Russia has had a declining population for decades. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has lost about 5 million people dropping from a population of about 148 million in 1994 to 143 million in 2021.

The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the problem. Not only are tens of thousands of Russians dying on the frontlines, but thousands more have fled Russia to avoid Putin’s war.

The news comes after a US intelligence assessment provided to Congress suggested as many as 315,000 of 360,000 Russian troops had been lost during Putin’s invasion.

That staggering number is likely one reason support for the war appears to be falling in Russia. In October, for the first time since the war began, the majority of Russians – 74 percent – would be happy if Putin signed a peace deal with Ukraine immediately, according to a Russian Field’s poll cited by The Economist.

It also found that Russians were firmly against another mobilisation – despite this Putin has just called for another 170,000 troops to be added to the armed forces.

While the war in Ukraine isn’t the only reason for Russia‘s demographic crisis, it certainly is not helping the situation.

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