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Demographics is Russia’s ‘Achilles heel’ – Kremlin — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Traditional families with multiple children should become a fashionable social norm, Dmitry Peskov has said

Improving the demographic situation and achieving a sustainable growth of birth rates is a matter of life and death for Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with national media published on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin designated 2024 ‘Year of the Family’ in Russia, and according to his spokesman the issue is of critical importance for the country.

“The demographics is probably our Achilles heel, our biggest problem. It cannot be resolved overnight. And so we desperately need to continue to take all possible measures that are aimed at correcting the demographic situation,” the spokesman told the Argumenti i Fakty newspaper.

Peskov said Russia will continue to focus on improving the quality of life of the family, by extending the maternity capital program, and offering more financial benefits to single mothers and families with multiple children.

“At the same time it is possible and necessary to promote large families,” Peskov, himself a father of six, added. “Having many children should become fashionable. That’s why traditional values are so important to us… it is a matter of life and death for our country with its vast territory.” 

“There should be more of us! We have only 7 million people living beyond the Urals. We must have children, we must increase human mobility and live our lives in different cities, which should be equally comfortable.”

In his address to the Federal Assembly last month, President Putin admitted that Russia, like many other countries, is faced with a decline in birth rates and suggested that all levels of government, civil society, and pastors of traditional religions should work together to make large families with many children the social norm, the philosophy of social life and a guideline of the state strategy.

Putin has raised the family-size issue before, repeatedly pointing to the lingering consequences of the 1990s demographic collapse, comparable in severity to that of the Second World War. While the number of abortions in Russia has declined significantly since 2000, the number of births in 2023 was only 1.213 million, the lowest since 1999. The national statistics bureau, Rosstat, has predicted a continued decline in the birth rate through 2027.

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