As Russia experiences a decades-long demographic crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin on Monday August 15 restored a reward from the Soviet era to encourage the birth rate: the title of “Mother heroine “. It is given to women who have given birth to and raised ten or more children, state news agency Tass said, and rewards them with one million rubles (about 15,600 euros, a fortune in a country where the median salary is 360 euros). ).
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Mothers are still eligible if they lose one of their children to war, terrorism or an emergency. This distinction, created under Joseph Stalin in 1944 to deal with massive population losses during World War II, was elevated to the same level as the highly prestigious titles of “Hero of the Russian Federation” and “Hero of Labor”. More than 400,000 women were decorated before the “Heroine Mother” title was lost with the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
“It is interesting to note that the tradition of the large family is being revived today, little by little and step by step, and more and more people are becoming aware of the high moral and spiritual value of family ties and the continuity of generations.”welcomed Vladimir Putin in a speech on June 1 to the recipients of the Order of Parental Glory, which rewards parents who have raised at least seven children.
As a rule, you can rely on those who grew up in a large family. They will not let down a friend, colleague or their homeland. – Vladimir Poutine
The demographic crisis in Russia, a “historic challenge” for Putin
“The fate of Russia and its historical prospects depend on how many of us there are”, adopted the Kremlin leader in front of the Russian Parliament in January 2020. Since he came to power in 2000, Vladimir Putin has tried in every way to prevent the demographic crisis that has affected Russia for decades and, according to him, represents a challenge “historical”. The country continues to see its population decline, despite a pro-natalist policy that is one of the most attractive in the world.
If, at the collapse of the USSR, Russia had 148.2 million inhabitants, it has only 145.1 million according to the latest figures from the Russian statistics agency Rosstat. “Russia’s rate of population decline will almost double from 2021 and almost triple from 2020”, explained the independent media The Moscow Times. Between January and May 2022, Russia’s population will decrease by 86,000 people per month. Not seen yet.
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“This demographic question is obsessed with Putin”said Laurent Chalard, demographer specializing in population movements, to France 24. “In his mind, he relates the power of a country to the size of its population. The bigger it is, the more powerful the state.” So Moscow set up financial assistance programs for parents, systems of family allowances and bonuses for large families, up to the rehabilitation of the “Mother heroine” title.
“Not to mention very active propaganda on the issue”, added Laurent Chalard. “Putin himself, in his public speeches, regularly promotes family values and calls on the population to have children.”
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