(RepublicanView.org) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly called on Russian women to have more children – partly because of the high losses the country is suffering in the war with Ukraine. Putin said large families must become normal in his country and suggested each woman should be willing to give birth to eight children.
In a speech during the World Russian People’s Congress in the Kremlin on November 28, Putin said, “Many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had seven, eight, or even more children.” He added that the country should strive to bring back such traditions.
Mr. Putin has encouraged higher birth rates since coming to power 24 years ago by introducing various initiatives, including financial rewards for families with more than one child, but they have little impact and birth rates continue to fall, as they have for many years.
In September, Le Monde reported that the population of Russia was 146,447,424 as of the start of the year, down from the last count in 1999 and likely affected by emigration, which has also increased with 900,000 fleeing the country since the start of the Ukraine war. Benoît Vitkine, Le Monde’s Russian Correspondent, suggested that Putin wanted to annex Russian-speaking regions and bring them under the Kremlin’s control to boost population size. Residents of Donetsk and Luhansk “have reportedly received Russian passports,” Vitkine wrote.
Since the war with Ukraine began in February 2022, around 50,000 Russian men had been killed as of July, according to an independent analysis by Russian media outlets, Mediazona and Meduza. However, NATO claims the number of soldier deaths is over 300,000 as of November.
Mr. Putin’s own family life is shrouded in mystery, but he is known to have two daughters, one of whom, Katerina Tikhonova, oversees Russian imports. The President was married to flight attendant Lyudmila Shkrebneva for three decades, but the marriage ended in divorce. His oldest daughter Maria was born in Leningrad in 1985, and his second in Germany a year later. He is reportedly rumored to have two other children with two other women.
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