Life Expectancy in Russia Reaches 72 Years for First Time

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 15, 2017) The average life expectancy in Russia has for the first time exceeded 72 years, deputy prime minister Olga Golodets said on Monday. According to data from the federal statistics agency Rosstat, the average life expectancy reached 72.4 in the first half year of 2017, she was cited as saying by the state-run […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Villages, and Their Way of Life, Are ‘Melting Away'” – New York Times/ NEIL MacFARQUHAR

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

“… With Russia’s natural population growth entering an extended period of decline, villages like Baruta are disappearing from across the country’s continental expanse. * * * Russia’s demographic problem dates back at least 100 years, to the upheaval of the 1917 revolution, followed by Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. Both events curbed population growth, foreshadowing the devastating impact of World […]

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Russia Caught Between Economic Decline and Potentially Explosive Demographic Change

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 5, 2017) Russia’s economic development ministry says that the country’s GDP growth will be approximately half of one percent lower each year because of projected declines in the number of workers in Russia in the coming decades, a decline that the ministry says must be fought by increasing immigration. But any […]

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State Duma committee approves text of Russia’s naturalization oath

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. July 4 (Interfax) – The State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building has approved the text of the naturalization oath of allegiance to Russia. This is an amendment to the draft law, which deprives convicted terrorists of Russian citizenship. It will be considered by the State Duma on Wednesday, on July 12. The oath is as follows, […]

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World War II Continues to Have Demographic Impact on Russia, Vishnevsky Says

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 4, 2017) The periodic increases and current decrease in the number of births in Russia reflects the third echo of World War II, Anatoly Vishnevsky says, with the low number of births in 1943 leading to demographic declines approximately every 25 years thereafter. The current decline is almost precisely 75 years […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting on economic issues

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – June 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting on economic issues at the Kremlin. Various aspects of national demographic policy were the main items on the agenda. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Today, we will have a comprehensive discussion of demographic policy. As you know, for the subject came up during the Direct Line too, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia enjoys third year of natural population growth” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“… According to Russian state statisticians, as of January 1, 2017, the population of Russia is almost 144.5mn excluding Crimea, whose annexation in 2014 is largely unrecognised by the international community. … In the 2010 census, ethnic Russians were found to make up 81% of the total population. In total, 160 different ethnic groups live within the Russian Federation’s borders. […]

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Declining Birthrates among Russians Leading to Further Demographic Decline, Rosstat Figures Show

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 4, 2017) Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistics agency, reports that during the first four months of 2017, Russians gave birth to almost 70,000 fewer children than they did in the comparable period a year earlier, a decline that wiped out all gains from declines in mortality rates and put Russia on […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – April 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Topilin, I would like to discuss with you not only current social policy issues but also the upcoming trends that we will definitely encounter due to a number of objective circumstances. We are certainly […]

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‘Russia is the Only Country Dying Out in Peacetime,’ Villager Responds to Medvedev

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 19, 2017) After Dmitry Medvedev can’t answer whether there will be work for villagers, one of their number observes that “Russia is the only country dying out in peacetime, where residents of rural areas and small towns are joining the ranks of the poor … and where 70 percent of the […]

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Interfax: Over 265,000 people receive Russian citizenship in 2016, renunciation cases exceptional – Interior Ministry

Russia Map

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) – The instances in which people file applications to give up Russian citizenship are very rare, Olga Kirillova, the head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Migration Department, said on Wednesday. “The instances in which people give up Russian citizenship are negligible,” Kirillova told reporters. Valentina Kazakova, deputy head of the Main Migration Department, said over […]

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Russia Still Migrant Magnet Even as Wages Stay Below China’s

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – April 19, 2017) The vast pool of labor across Russia’s porous borders is relieving strains in the labor market, helping drain the economy of inflationary pressure as it accelerates after almost two years of recession. A steady flow of arrivals has continued even as shrinking wages and Russia’s worst currency crisis since 1998 […]

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NEWSLINK: “Where the Russians Are. A color-coded map of the U.S., showing which states have the highest percentage of Russian immigrants [2005/2000]” – Russian Life

United States Map

“North Dakota is not normally the place one thinks of as having a large Russian emigre population. Yet, according to 2000 US Census Data recently released, fully 3.5% of that state’s population, or 22,514 individuals, are of Russian extraction — the highest percentage in the nation. …”

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Live longer! Putin calls for improving life expectancy. Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths.”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths. …”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Government members

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members in the Kremlin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, We will begin with s number of current issues. The epidemic level seems to be on the decline, but the situation is still serious. Even Mr Medvedev could not stay out of harm’s way, and caught […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Ukraine Is Dying A Slow Death (Literally)” – The National Interest/Nolan Peterson/Daily Signal

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Ukraine’s population decreased by about 170,000 people in 2016, the government reported … underscoring a demographic trend that began after the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and which threatens to derail the country’s political and economic development. ‘This is a serious problem for the country,’ Alex Ryabchyn, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, told The Daily […]

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How Can Russia Reverse its Negative Demographic Trend?

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Pavel Aptekar – February 1, 2017) Russia has long had a demographic crisis. That is why, 10 years ago, leaders introduced “maternity capital” – a special program encouraging couples to have more children. Participants receive government payouts for every successive child after their first. Families must use the money for specific needs – paying off […]

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Moscow Unlikely to Achieve Life Expectancy Gains It had Projected, Health Ministry Admits

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 26, 2016) The Russian health ministry has changed its target figures on reducing mortality rates and extending life expectancy by 2020, a reflection experts say of the fact that the Russian government no longer expects to be able to improve the health of the population as much as it did. Ministry […]

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Demographic Collapse of Ethnic Russian Nation Seen Accelerating

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 25, 2017) Russian demographers predict that the total population of the Russian Federation will be relatively stable over the next two decades but only because of massive immigration from Central Asia and the Caucasus and still high birthrates and relatively low death rates among the traditionally Muslim nationalities of Russia itself. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Despite political clout, Russian seniors find later life options limited; Though their numbers are increasing and their voting bloc powerful, elderly Russians generally lack either the savings or sufficient government pension to finance a comfortable retirement” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… Tradition remains strong here, and huge numbers of pensioners still live with their families. Millions more take refuge in state-run old age homes, which are of varying quality. Due to the unusual political strength of pensioners and war veterans in Soviet and now Russian society, publicly-run facilities for the elderly have always been relatively well-resourced and are currently under […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘We’re OUTBREEDING you!’ Putin taunts West as he unveils drive to boost Russian birth rate” – The Daily Express (UK)

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

… Putin… issued an extraordinary putdown to the West as he boasted that Russia was outbreeding its rivals and unveiled new scientific measures to up the country’s birth rate further still. … plans to roll out 94 “hi-tech” perinatal centres across the country during his annual address to parliament. … Putin pledged a series of measures, from scientific to social, […]

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NEWSLINK RTBH: “Kremlin seeking to repatriate children of Russia’s elite, say reports”

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

Amid growing tensions between Russia and the West, Russian media have reported that the children of officials who are living abroad will soon have to return to Russia.

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Russia Must Deal With Catastophic Brain Drain; With brain drain, only leaders and those who leave are winners: the country is the big loser.

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yelena Mukhametshina – October 7, 2016) After suffering a major brain drain in the 1990s, Russia is once again witnessing a rise in emigration. But whereas people back then left the country because of the crumbling economy, now they are leaving even as the government attempts to diversify it, writes Committee for Civil Initiatives (CCI) […]

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Russia’s Abortion Debate Is Back

Ultrasound and Photo of Prenatal Child file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – September 29, 2016) Abortion rights are on the minds of citizens and officials across Europe this week. In Ireland, protesters marched through the streets of Dublin in the thousands demanding their government hold a referendum to repeal restrictive abortion laws. The same week, the Polish parliament shocked Europe by voting through a […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – September 19, 2016) [More detailed Russian version here kremlin.ru/events/president/news/52913] The Government’s demographic and social policy priorities for 2017 and the upcoming three-year period were the main items on the agenda. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Before we start our work today, I would like to say a few words about the results of the State […]

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Russia’s Birth Rate Growing Despite Economic Crisis

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 15, 2016) Russia’s birth rate is still increasing, despite the country’s ongoing economic crisis, a report by the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting revealed Thursday. The number of births in the first half of 2016 increased by 1.6 percent compared to the same period last year. The children were conceived in the second […]

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The Real Threat to the Baltics Isn’t Russia — It’s Depopulation

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

Depopulation—Invisible Threat to Latvia’s Security (Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 13, Issue 132 – Olevs Nikers – July 21, 2016) [Also appeared at Russia Insider, with modified title and introductory capsule: “Between ethnic Russians leaving for #Russia and Balts leaving for the UK the three baltic states are emptying out — Latvia and Lithuania lost 8.3 […]

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Demographics expert: Russian men live 11 years less than women

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Interfax – June 2, 2016) Life expectancy in Russia has been growing, but there is a considerable gap between male and female lifespan in the country, experts said. “Male life expectancy exceeded 65 years two years ago, for the first time in Russia’s history. However, the gap between male and female lifespan exceeds 11 years,” laboratory head at the Russian […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Russian Media

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Kremlin.ru – May 28, 2016) Following the Russian-Greek talks, Vladimir Putin met with Russian media representatives. Question: Mr President, may I ask you a question about domestic policy rather than talks with Greece? Vladimir Putin: Are you having trouble sleeping? Remark: I am. The whole country is thinking about this issue. Vladimir Putin: Go ahead. Question: Mr Medvedev visited Crimea […]

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Moscow Region Duma Holds Conference to Combat Abortion Rates

Ultrasound and Photo of Prenatal Child file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 29, 2016) The Moscow Region Duma held a conference – titled “Therefore choose life, for both thou and thy seed” – to promote chastity among adolescents and lower the abortion rate, the Duma’s official web portal reported Friday. The conference was dedicated to combating the growing rate of abortion in Russia and preserving family, […]

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Russia’s militant migrant challenge

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

Russia’s terrorist threat has evolved. But the authorities are yet to evolve with it. (opendemocracy.net – Mark Galeotti – March 17, 2016) Mark Galeotti is Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s SCPS Center for Global Affairs. He blogs on Russian security affairs at In Moscow’s Shadows and tweets as @MarkGaleotti. Why did Uzbek nanny Gyulchekhra Bobokulova call out […]

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Shuvalov: economic situation in Russia is difficult, there is no influx of guest workers to Russia

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) – Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said there is no big influx of foreign labor migrants to Russia amid the economic problems. “We need to understand that the economic situation in the country is very difficult. Migrants are not so active now as they were when our national currency was rather strong,” Shuvalov said […]

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Russian Nationalists Oppose Moscow’s Plan to Resettle Ukrainian Refugees in Far East

Russia Map

(Paul Goble – Staunton, February 16, 2016) Duma deputies are proposing and the Russian Ministry for Far Eastern Development has come out in support of a plan to resettle as many as 50,000 Ukrainian refugees who had fled their country because of the fighting but have not yet found permanent residences in the Russian Federation. This plan reflects the convergence […]

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Russia’s Suicide Rate Falls to 50-Year Low

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 10, 2016) The number of suicides in Russian totaled 24,982 last year – the lowest number in 50 years, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing official statistics data. RBC also reported that last year there were 17.1 cases of suicide per 100,000 people, which is lower than in 1962, when 17.4 suicides for […]

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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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