Vladimir Putin urges Russian women to have 'eight or more' children amid demographic challenges
Speaking at the World Russian People's Council in Moscow recently, Vladimir Putin addressed the declining birth rate since the 1990s and the toll of over 300,000 casualties from the ongoing Ukraine War.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has encouraged women in the country to embrace larger families by having as many as eight children, aiming to make this a societal norm. Speaking at the World Russian People's Council in Moscow recently, Putin addressed the declining birth rate since the 1990s and the toll of over 300,000 casualties from the ongoing Ukraine War. He emphasized the importance of boosting Russia's population, setting it as a long-term goal for the nation.
"Many of our ethnic groups have preserved the tradition of having strong multigenerational families with four, five, or even more children. Let us remember that Russian families, many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had seven, eight, or even more children," said Putin in his address to the council on Tuesday.
"Let us preserve and revive these excellent traditions. Large families must become the norm, a way of life for all Russia's peoples. The family is not just the foundation of the state and society, it is a spiritual phenomenon, a source of morality," he added.
Addressing the conference via video link on November 28, Putin stressed the significance of preserving and increasing Russia's population for the coming decades and generations. He sees this as vital for the future of the Russian world, describing it as the millennium-old, eternal Russia. The conference, organized by Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, saw the participation of representatives from various traditional organizations in Russia.
While Putin's comments did not explicitly reference the casualties in the Ukraine War, several outlets have linked his statements to the conflict. Reports from the UK's defense ministry suggest that the number of deaths in Ukraine may have exceeded 300,000. Additionally, an independent Russian policy group, Re:Russia, estimates that 820,000-920,000 people have fled the country.
Russia is grappling with a severe workforce shortage and economic slowdown due to Western sanctions imposed in response to the Ukraine War. The Independent notes that Russia's population, as of January 1, 2023, was 146,447,424, lower than the figure in 1999 when Putin assumed the presidency. The push for larger families comes against the backdrop of these challenges, indicating a strategic approach to address demographic and economic concerns.