Ever more Russians are at risk of repression as Putin’s Russia heads toward totalitarianism

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – January 27, 2016) There is an old observation that in a democracy, anything that isn’t prohibited is permitted; in an authoritarian system, anything that isn’t permitted is prohibited; and in a totalitarian one, anything that is permitted is compulsory and any failure to go along can result in arrest or worse. Judging from […]

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Nine lingering myths about Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

We are often held prisoner by imposed stereotypes and opinions about countries, people and events. RBTH has collected nine myths about Russia that are far from accurate. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALYA PUKHOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) 1. The death rate in Russia is higher than its birth rate There is a widespread belief […]

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The Exodus Equation: Study Shows Russian Math Geniuses Excelling In West

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Antoine Blua – January 24, 2016) The massive exodus of scientists since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union is a known phenomenon that has greatly affected the field of mathematics. More than 30 speakers invited to address the 1986 International Congress of Mathematicians in California came from the Soviet Union — most of them from […]

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Absent ‘Revolutionary Change,’ Russia’s Population Decline to Accelerate in Coming Decades, Experts Say

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Paul Goble – Staunton, January 1, 2016) Unless “revolutionary” steps are taken – something Moscow has shown no taste for given that it has spent less than half as much on boosting s than it did on the Sochi Olympiad – Russia’s demographic decline will accelerate in the coming years and its population will fall in this century to just […]

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Putin: Average life expectancy in Russia to exceed 71 years in 2015

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Interfax – December 3, 2015) The average life expectancy in Russia will exceed 71 years in 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly on Dec. 3. “The average life expectancy in Russia has grown by more than five years over the past decade and, based on preliminary estimates, it should exceed 71 […]

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NEWSWATCH Intellinews/Ben Aris: “Terrorism, bread and babies in Russia’s sights for 2016, Putin tells nation”

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Ben Aris comments upon Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2015 State of the Nation speech. In a tight one-hour speech to more than 1,200 state officials and dignitaries gathered in the Moscow Kremlin, the Russian leader urged the international community to unite in ‘one mighty fist’ against the terrorist scourge, while leaving no doubt as to whom he blamed for its […]

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NEWSWATCH Christian Science Monitor: “Ukrainian refugees in Russia: Did Moscow fumble a valuable resource? Russians have warmly welcomed more than a million pro-Moscow Ukrainian refugees in the past 18 months. But the state bureaucracy hasn’t followed suit.”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The Christian Science Monitor covers the movement of Ukrainians into Russia, its impact on Russian demographics, and the potential exodus back into Ukraine following a failure by Russia to more effectively provide for their permanent immigration. Over the past 18 months, Russia has taken in more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees … who have fled the destructive civil war between […]

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‘Traditional Family’ Said Making a Comeback in Russia– But It’s Mostly Rural and Muslim

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 18, 2015) The “traditional” family that Vladimir Putin and Russian nationalist want in which couples marry early and have three or four children is in fact becoming more numerous in the Russian Federation, but that comeback may not please everyone because most such families are either in villages or in traditionally […]

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Russia’s Way of Managing Responsibility or Why the Kremlin Will Have To Escalate in Syria

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov- November 9, 2015) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. The cause of the most terrible plane crash in Russian history has not yet been named. Officially, there is still a possibility that the crash of the Russian passenger plane that […]

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Russian Economy Set to Take Another Hit – A Much Smaller Labor Force in the Future

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 8, 2015) To the extent that falling prices for natural resources will force Moscow to rely on the development of other sectors, the Russian economy faces another and perhaps even more serious hit in the near term – a dramatically smaller workforce, each of whose members will have to support significantly […]

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Russian Students to Get Paid Foreign Education – If They Return Home Afterward

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 9, 2015) Russia will pay for its students to study at elite foreign universities, provided they return home to work after graduation, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov was cited as saying by news agency TASS. The program, titled “Global Education,” was signed into force in June 2014 and is designed to send 1,500 […]

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Most Russians Won’t Make It to Their 71st Birthday, OECD Report Shows

Cigarette Being Lit

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 5, 2015) High alcohol and tobacco consumption mean most Russians will never reach the age of 71, with the average life expectancy in Russia lagging almost 10 years behind the average in developed countries – the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report published Wednesday. The average life expectancy in Russia […]

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Détente NOW!

Europe Map

Subject: Détente NOW! Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 From: “Dr. Christian Wipperfürth” <cwipperfuerth@email.de> Your readers might be interested in the “Détente NOW!” – Initiative by leading members of the Social Democratic Party (which takes part in the German government), the industrie and NGOs. It can be found at http://www.cwipperfuerth.de/2015/10/detente-now-english/ —- Pax Christi Press Release (translation) Berlin, October 2015 For a […]

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Interfax: Up to 150,000 ethnic Russians may relocate from Ukraine to Russia in 2015 – migration service chief

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) expects the arrival of up to 150,000 ethnic Russians from Ukraine in 2015, and 2.6 billion rubles has been allocated from the federal budget for these purposes, FMS director Konstantin Romodanovsky has said. “Since September 2014, regional programs have been confirmed in the Rostov region and the Stavropol territory as […]

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Russia to Conduct ‘Micro-Census’ in October

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 22, 2015) Russia is to conduct a “micro-census” next month involving 2.5 million people that will have a broader scope than an ordinary census, the State Statistics Service, or Rosstat, said in a statement. The population survey will take place in all regions of Russia between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, according to Rosstat. […]

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Thirteen Percent of Russians Want to Move Abroad – Poll

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 15, 2015) Thirteen percent of Russians would like to move abroad, while 17 percent of Muscovites would like to do so, a poll revealed Monday. Almost half of those who want to leave Russia for good – 38 percent – are young people between the ages of 18 and 24, research by the state-run […]

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Why Is Russia’s Growth in Life Expectancy Slowing?

Stylized EEG Image Showing Heartbeat Pulse

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 31, 2015) Life expectancy in Russia has been growing several times slower than in the rest of the world for the past 20 years, according to a research by the U.S.-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released last week. During the period of 1990-2013 it only grew by 1.8 years […]

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Russians Consider Marrying, Giving Birth and Education Most Important Things

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 28, 2015) When asked what the most important things to do before turning 30 are, most Russians chose getting married, giving birth and receiving an education, while things like starting a business or traveling the world were at the bottom of the list, a poll released Wednesday by an independent Russian […]

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Russian poll on nationalism and xenophobia produces worrying results

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – August 25, 2015) More Russians than ever (41%) believe that illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries should be granted legal status in Russia and given the chance to assimilate, although 43% still want them to be expelled from the country. According to a survey published by independent polling company Levada […]

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Putin’s Other War? Russians’ Binge Drinking

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Peter R. Orszag – August 11, 2015) Peter R. Orszag is a Bloomberg View columnist. Now vice chairman of corporate and investment banking and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group at Citigroup, he was previously director of the Office of Management and Budget. Russian President Vladimir Putin may be undermining global peace and civic […]

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Russian Official Lauds Condom Restrictions

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos, Anna Dolgov – August 6, 2015) A senior Russian official has praised plans to restrict condom imports as part of a drive to reduce reliance on foreign-made goods, suggesting Wednesday that a dearth of the rubber contraceptives will make people more “disciplined” and boost birth rates. Fewer condoms will make people “more strict […]

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Muscovites Having More Children Amid Drive to Promote Family Values

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Elizaveta Vereykina – July 5, 2015) Residents of the Russian capital are having more children and having them closer together – a trend that may increase as the state continues to fight the country’s demographic crisis and promote traditional family values. “While in the beginning of 2014 there were 90,000 families with three or more […]

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Economic Crisis, Uncertainty about the Future Pushing Russian Birthrate Down

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 30, 2015) The Russian statistics agency reported yesterday that the birthrate in the Russian Federation had fallen to 12.6 children per 1000 population, lower than it has been at any point in the last three years and, according to experts, a reflection of both underlying demographic trends and current uncertainties about the future among Russians. […]

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RIA Novosti: Almost a million Ukrainian refugees want to stay in Russia – migration service

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RIA Novosti – July 15, 2015) About 900,000 Ukrainians have contacted Russia’s Federal Migration Service since the start of the conflict in southeast Ukraine requesting status allowing them to reside there permanently, RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) reported on 15 July. According to the FMS, just over a million citizens of southeast Ukraine have […]

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Jews Are Fleeing Russia Because Of Putin

Torah Scrolls

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Roman Super, Claire Bigg – July 3, 2015) Just a year ago, Russian journalist Vladimir Yakovlev was one of Moscow’s most influential media figures. Today, he lives a quiet life in Tel Aviv and has swapped his Russian passport for an Israeli one. Yakovlev, the founder of the respected Kommersant publishing house and the Snob magazine, […]

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Why Russia Still Attracts Immigrants

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 15, 2015) Russia isn’t often thought of as a country of immigration. Yet the country’s enormous territory and shrinking indigenous population invite a striking number of immigrants: Last year, despite the collapse of oil prices and the Ukraine crisis, Russia was the biggest originator of migrant workers’ remittances in Europe. When President […]

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A dissident’s tale

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(opendemocracy.net – Gleb Morev, Gleb Pavlovsky – May 29, 2015) Gleb Morev is a Russian journalist and literary critic based in Moscow. He edits the Culture section of Colta.ru. One of the grey cardinals of modern Russian politics, Gleb Pavlovsky talks dissent, history and politics in the late-Soviet era. Born in Odessa in 1951, Gleb Pavlovsky is famed for being […]

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NEWSLINK Forbes: New Data Shows Russia’s Demography Is Rapidly Deteriorating

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Sometimes labeled “the dying bear” or “the dying nation,” Russia has caught a lot of flack for its demographic problems. No demography isn’t the most popular topic in the world, it’s unfortunately quite a niche topic, but to the extent that anyone hears anything about Russia demography in the popular press they hear a tale of unmitigated calamity and woe.

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Some Who Left: A New Wave Of Russian Emigration

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – April 21, 2015) Hundreds of thousands have left Russia over the last two years, citing a variety of political, economic, and personal reasons. According to Russian government statistics, 203,000 people left the country permanently in the first eight months of 2014. That’s up from 186,000 in 2013, and very likely to break Russia’s […]

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Moscow Times: Poll: Record Number of Russians Reject Emigration

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – March 23, 2015) Eighty-three percent of Russians say they’re not interested in moving anywhere outside of the former Soviet Union, the independent Levada Center pollster revealed, noting that this represented the highest such figure since the end of the Soviet era. Another 81 percent of respondents said they never even think about the […]

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[Russian Population:] Re: #27 JRL 2015-#51, Russia’s Demography Just Took A Significant Turn For The Worse

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Subject: Re: #27 JRL 2015-#51, Russia’s Demography Just Took A Significant Turn For The Worse Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 From: Sergey Slobodyan <Sergey.Slobodyan@cerge-ei.cz> As Mark Adomanis correctly notes, one month doesn’t a trend make. Births in Nov-14 and Jan-15 did drop year-on-year, by 5.3 and 3.6%, respectively. But births in Dec-14, in contrast, have been the best in December […]

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NEWSWATCH: Is Russia’s Demographic Recovery at Risk of Reversal?

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

[“Is Russia’s Demographic Recovery at Risk of Reversal?” – The Unz Review – unz.com – Anatoly Karlin – January 30, 2015] Antoly Karlin and The Unz Review examine Russia’s demographic shifts. This year will mark yet another milestone in Russia’s steady post-1990s demographic recovery, with the population minus Crimea hitting 144.0 million as of January 1, 2015 … relative to 143.7 […]

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Interfax: Russian Labor Ministry reports natural population growth in 2014

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – A natural population growth in Russia stood at 37,100 in January-October 2014, Labor and Social Protection Minister Maxim Topilin said. “On the whole, natural population growth amounted to 37,100 people in January-October 2014. It grew by 23,200 persons compared with the relevant period of 2013,” the ministry press service quoted Topilin as saying on Friday. […]

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Alcohol Kills 500,000 Russians Annually

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 2, 2014) Around 500,000 Russians die due to alcohol abuse every year, Russia’s health and safety watchdog said in a statement Monday. More teenagers and women of childbearing age have started consuming alcohol, which lowers life expectancy and contributes to the number of untimely deaths in the country, the statement said. The government has […]

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Marriage? No thanks, I’m too busy: Why Russians are delaying tying the knot

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Darya Lyubinskaya, special to RBTH – November 25, 2014) Russians are increasingly leaving marriage to a later age in order to focus on their careers and personal interests. While a decade ago 40 percent of weddings were between people under the age of 24, that figure is now just 20 percent. Experts attribute […]

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Refugees in Russia from Ukraine in Increasingly Desperate Straits, Experts Say

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 8, 2014) Many Russian regions now have more refugees from Ukraine than they had expected or can handle, and officials suggest that more are likely to arrive as Ukraine’s economy and weather deteriorate. As a result, the situation of these refugees is “becoming critical,” according to experts. In today’s “Novyye izvestiya,” […]

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Most Russian Students Want to Find Jobs Abroad

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 26, 2014) Three of every four Russian university students would prefer to work abroad rather than in Russia, Newsru.com reported Monday, citing a survey conducted by Career.ru. The survey revealed that 77 percent of Russian students found the prospect of overseas employment more appealing than working at home. Those most hopeful for overseas jobs […]

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Re: 2014-#177-JRL #24 Reuters: Putin’s Ukraine gamble hastens exodus of Russian money and talent.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

Subject: Re: 2014-#177-JRL #24 Reuters: Putin’s Ukraine gamble hastens exodus of Russian money and talent. Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2014 From: Sergey Slobodyan <Sergey.Slobodyan@cerge-ei.cz> This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the utterly ridiculous claim that recent Rosstat migration data proves existence of “exodus of Russian talent”: “Russia’s statistics service data shows 186,382 moved abroad in 2013 and 122,751 in […]

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Hiding dual citizenship now a criminal offense in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anastasia Vityazeva, special to RBTH – August 12, 2014) New legislation requires Russians with passports of two or more countries to inform the migration service on their own initiative, with those who intentionally conceal dual citizenship being criminally liable. A government representative claims that Russians who are a citizen of more than one […]

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One in Ten Russians Want to Leave Their Country

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 12, 2014) About one in every 10 Russians wants to emigrate from the country, a recent poll has shown, and while few seem to be actively pursuing their wish, the number is significant because it represents mostly young and educated professionals. Among those who said they wanted to leave Russia, 47 percent were motivated […]

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High Mortality Rates Killing Off Russia, Aganbegyan Says

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 8, 2014) Unless Moscow addresses and overcomes “super-high mortality rates” among young people and working-age Russians, the country will face population decline even if the Russian government is able to boost fertility rates, according to Abel Aganbegyan, a member of the Academy of Sciences and a Kremlin advisor. Indeed, the noted […]

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Russia Reverses Birth Decline – but for How Long?

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 23, 2014) When Russia annexed Crimea in March, it added 2.4 million people to the country’s population of 143.7 million, prompting several Western observers to put forward the theory that the Kremlin’s aim was to offset the effect of the country’s long-declining population. Yet last year, long before the events in […]

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Russia To Test Migrant Workers On Country’s History

Migrant Workers file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Farangis Najibullah and Umid Bobomatov – June 13, 2014) So you want to work in Russia? You may be a skilled bricklayer — but do you know when Ivan the Terrible reined in the boyars? Or when the Polish-Lithuanian forces were expelled from Muscovy? When Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg? No? Well you might want to start […]

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Russian Population to Fall by Half in 50 Years Even if Recent Fertility Rise Sustained, Moscow Demographer Says

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 29, 2014) Even if the recent much-ballyhooed rise in Russian fertility rate were to last and that is almost certainly impossible, a Moscow State University demographer says, the population of the country would decline by half over the next 50 years. In fact, it is likely to decline further and faster […]

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Fewer Russians Fear Growing Old, Poll Shows

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 29, 2014) The number of Russians who regard old age positively has grown over the past 10 years, a poll released Wednesday showed. The poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation, showed 45 percent of respondents said they believed there were distinct advantages to old age, compared to 20 percent a decade ago. A […]

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