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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Putin names what Russians need to survive

The president has once again urged citizens to have more children

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday urged Russians to start families early and have at least two children, preferably more.

His comments came during a meeting with the workers of Uralvagonzavod, a major Russian weapons and military equipment manufacturer located in Nizhny Tagil, in the Urals.

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“Supporting young families is our absolute priority if we want to preserve our ethnic groups inhabiting Russia. And for this, each family must have at least two children. Three, if we want to grow and expand,” Putin said, answering a question on whether the Young Family program will continue.

The president added that funding for the program has been secured through 2025. Further measures to support families are in the works and may be announced during his upcoming annual address to lawmakers.

Putin has designated 2024 ‘Year of the Family’ in Russia. The president has repeatedly pointed to the lingering consequences of the 1990s demographic collapse, comparable in severity to that of the Second World War.

He has raised the family-size issue before. Speaking in Kaliningrad last month, he explained that having children early on was the way to go. Couples who wait until 30 or later end up having no time or energy for more than one child, he said at the time, which is why the government has focused on helping young families.

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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.