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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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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