Gallup Poll Shows One In Five Russians Would Migrate West If Possible

Satellite Image of Earth in Style of Mercator Map, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-migrate-west-gallup-poll-one-in-five/29861985.html) One in five Russians say they would leave their country if they could, according to a new poll by Gallup. The Washington-based pollster said on April 4 that since 2014, the percentage of working-age Russians who say they […]

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Rising Mortality Rates Challenge Russia’s Efforts To Kick-Start Population Growth

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – April 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/rising-mortality-rates-challenge-population-growth-decline-putin-demographics/29861882.html) Every third region in Russia saw a spike in mortality rates in 2018, according to health officials, contributing to the country’s first population decline in a decade and highlighting the challenges of fending off a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Takes on Its Demographic Decline” – Stratfor

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

“Highlights Russia’s demographic decline will be a key concern for Moscow in the coming years as a result of emigration and low birth rates. Contradictory data sets and the Kremlin’s plans to attract migrants make it difficult to predict the exact extent and speed of Russia’s demographic decline, but it will nevertheless impact the Russian economy and Moscow’s ability to […]

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Life Expectancy in Russia Inches Upward to 73 – Health Ministry Official

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 21, 2019) Average life expectancy in Russia has reached 73 years, a top health official said on Thursday. Russia plans to spend 1.7 trillion rubles ($26.68 billion) on dramatically improving health care to accomplish President Vladimir Putin’s goal of raising life expectancy to 78 years by the time his term ends in 2024. Average […]

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Five Takeaways From Putin’s State-Of-The-Nation Address

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – February 20, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/five-takeaways-from-putins-state-of-the-nation-address/29781350.html) MOSCOW — In his annual state-of-the-nation address on February 20 to Russia’s two-chamber parliament, President Vladimir Putin promised to spend huge sums of money. Critics ask where those funds will come from. 1. Focus On […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Abortion in Russia: How Has the Situation Changed Since the Soviet Era? [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/ Victoria Sakevich, Maria Lipman

Ultrasound and Photo of Prenatal Child file photo

(PONARS Eurasia/ Victoria Sakevich, Maria Lipman – February 12, 2019) Victoria Sakevich is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Demography at the Higher School of Economics, Russia. She has been studying the demography of reproductive health for many years. [Full text with charts: http://www.ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/article/abortion-russia-how-has-situation-changed-soviet-era] Soviet women commonly resorted to abortion as a way to end unwanted pregnancies. In the […]

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U.S. Shuts Down Only Immigration Office in Russia, Citing Falling Demand

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 7, 2019) The United States has announced that it will close its only immigration office in Russia next month over what it called a “significant decrease in workload.” The move follows two years of mutual diplomatic staff cuts and consulate closures after the U.S. said that Russia interfered in its presidential election in 2016. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian population put in its first full-year decline in a decade” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

Bne Intellinews reports on Russian demographics and population decline, citing statistics from state agency Rosstat that Russian population fell from 146,880,432 at the beginning of 2018 to 146,793,744 at the start of 2019, a decrease of 86,688. Says bne intellinews: “The fall in the natural population has been partly offset by inbound migration, which covered half of the fall in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Official Data Vastly Underestimates Russian Emigration – Report” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 16, 2019) At least six times more Russians are leaving the country than officially estimated, a comprehensive study conducted by the Proekt news outlet said on Wednesday. Proekt’s report highlights discrepancies between official data from the Rosstat federal statistics agency and data compiled by countries where Russians emigrate to. Rosstat estimates 377,000 Russians left […]

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Isolation and Reconquista: Russia’s Toolkit as a Constrained Great Power

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Marlene Laruelle – December 12, 2018) Marlene Laruelle is a research professor, associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, director of the Central Asia Program and co-director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. [russiamatters.org/analysis/isolation-and-reconquista-russias-toolkit-constrained-great-power] In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech took stock of what Russia considered the failure of the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Diseases caused by bad nutrition cause 63% of deaths in Russia – Rospotrebnadzor” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Over half of all deaths in Russia are associated with eating low-quality food and the wrong nutrition, Rospotrebnadzor said in a report released on Thursday. “The idea of labeling [products] is due to Rospotrebnadzor’s concerns about the high rate of diseases associated with eating among the country’s population. About 63% of all deaths in Russia […]

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Every Fifth Married Russian has More Children than He or She Wants, Sociologist Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 18, 2018) Seventy-five percent of married couples in Russia have children, but only 55 percent say they would like to have them, according to a 17-year-long study by Yuliyz Lezhnina of the Institute for Social Policy of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2018/11/17/1746996.html) Having children is still the basis for marriage […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] World Congress of Compatriots” – KremlinRu

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kremlin.ru – October 31, 2018) Vladimir Putin addressed the 6th World Congress of Compatriots Living Abroad. During his address, the President announced the approval of the State Migration Policy Concept of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends, I am delighted to welcome the participants of the 6th World Congress of Compatriots. It is […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Population Decreases for First Time in a Decade” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

(Moscow Times = themoscowtimes.com – September 20, 2018) The Russian population has decreased in 2018 for the first time in almost a decade as the country battles a demographic crisis that threatens its economy, according to new data. Declining birth rates after the collapse of the Soviet Union have resulted in a second demographic slump as the generation born in […]

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Differences between Male and Female Life Expectancy in Russia ‘Largest in the World,’ New Study Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 10, 2018) On average, women in Russia live 11 years longer than men do, according to a study conducted by Russian and Western scholars that has been published in Britain’s authoritative medical journal, The Lancet (thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31485-5/fulltext). The study focused on trends between 1980 and 2016 and noted that the difference between […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian population falls by 77,800 in 5M 2018 – Rosstat” – Interfax

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

MOSCOW. July 18 (Interfax) – Russia’s de jure population was an estimated 146.8 million on June 1, 2018, down 77,800 since the start of the year, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said. The population grew by 259,700 in 2016 and 77,400 in 2017. The number of births in 5M 2018 fell to 651,000 from 679,200 in the same period […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian pundit says migration policy needs to be ‘more open'” – Izvestia/Sergei Ryazantsev

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

In Izvestia, Sergei Ryazantsev argues: “… The United Nations rates [Russia] third after the United States and Germany in terms of number of immigrants. … in 2015 … the US population born overseas amounted to 46.6m; 12m went to Germany, 11.6m to Russia. Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and representatives of other republics of the former USSR began to come […]

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Putin vs. Pensions: Will His Reelection Finally Free Him To Tackle Looming Crisis?

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – May 16, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-vs-pensions-will-his-reelection-finally-free-him-to-tackle-looming-crisis-/29229857.html) It’s been the third rail of Russian politics for years, if not decades, but now an increasingly fragile economy appears to have forced the Kremlin to finally reckon with the country’s pension crisis. Russia’s pension system — […]

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RUSSIALINK: “UN Predicts Falling Population, Rising Urbanization in Russia Through 2050” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

[Link to UN Report: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/] (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 17, 2018) Russia’s population will shrink by 11 million people by 2050 and will increasingly be concentrated in cities, according to the latest United Nations estimates. Russia has been in the midst of a generational demographic crisis, which newly inaugurated President Vladimir Putin said he would seek to reverse […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s ‘Brain Drain’ and the Prospects for Regime Transformation” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/Gordon M. Hahn

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

“The U.S. government … is claiming a sharp spike in asylum claims from Russian citizens, hitting a 24-year high in 2017 …. One of the main drivers of revolutionary forms of democratic regime transformation, according to contemporary social science, is the lack of sufficient social mobility for middle class youth that often emerges in authoritarian countries with high or rising […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Amid international pressure, Russia’s economy is a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly” – CNBC/Dawn Kissi

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… Russia ‘maintained strong growth underpinned by solid productivity, with a sustainable growth trend estimated at 2-2.5 percent,’ … [but] the rebound obscures … ‘one of the few countries in the world with negative population growth, which reduces their overall growth potential.’ The population shrinkage – by some measures at around 0.4 percent – dampens productivity, making growth above 2 […]

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Generation P: A Lifetime Under Putin

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 25, 2018) In 2000, when Vladimir Putin first became president, 1.3 million children were born in Russia. This year, as that generation turns 18 and gains the right to vote, Putin was reelected to another six years in power. His victory in March extends his rule over the country until 2024. By then, Generation […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Life in Vladimir Putin’s Russia explained in 10 charts” – BBC/ Alex Murray, Tom Housden, Anastasia Napalkova, Sandra Rodriguez Chillida, Joy Roxas, Zoe Bartholomew

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

“1. Fewer people are poor … 2. But wage growth has stalled recently … 3. More people have a car, and there are more microwaves than households … 4. Russians fell in love with Ikea … 5. And champagne … There’s some dispute over how much Russians drink. … 6. … the internet took off … 7. But circuses are […]

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Russia should allocate at least 3.4 trln rubles for demographic development within next 6 years – Putin

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) – At least 3.4 trillion rubles should be allocated for demographic development within the next six years, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday. “We will have to allocate at least 3.4 trillion rules for demographic development measures and for the welfare of mothers and children within the […]

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Ukrainians Abroad: The Economics and Politics of Labor Migration

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Brian Milakovsky – February 7, 2018) [Text with links kennan-focusukraine.org/ukrainians-abroad-the-economics-and-politics-of-labor-migration/] Brian Milakovsky works on economic recovery issues at a humanitarian organization in Luhanska Oblast, Ukraine . He has been in Ukraine or Russia since 2009, working in both the ecological and humanitarian sectors. In December, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan made a statement that raised […]

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Birth Rate Hits 10-Year Low in Russia

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2018) Russia’s birth rate has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, with just 1.69 million births recorded last year, despite government efforts to reverse the demographic trend, according to official data. The government plans to spend $8.6 billion over three years to encourage Russians to have more babies starting this election […]

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Russia’s Brain Drain on the Rise Over Economic Woes – Report

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 24, 2018) An increasing number of educated Russians are leaving the country for economic and political reasons, according to researchers at a prestigious Russian state university. Researchers at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) conducted interviews with Russian emigrants abroad and cited statistics from countries receiving them. Previous reports […]

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NEWSLINK: “Before Election, Putin Offers $8.6 Billion to Russians to Have More Babies” – Bloomberg/Jake Rudnitsky, Olga Tanas

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

“… The government will spend 500 billion rubles ($8.6 billion) over three years on measures to encourage Russians to have more babies, including mortgage subsidies and payments to new and growing families …. The money will come from government reserves and won’t require changes in the budget, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told the upper house of parliament. …”

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Looming Demographic Collapse Now ‘Main Threat to Russian National Security,’ Health Expert Says

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 14, 2017) The situation with regard to Russia’s birthrate is much worse than officials say, Igor Gundarov says. It is not easily correctible as some think but rather reflects a “cascading demographic” decline that now represents the main threat to the national security” of the country. The specialist on health care […]

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Two-Thirds of Russia’s Villages have Disappeared or Soon Will, Statistics Show

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 5, 2017) Most discussions of migration in Russia focus on the arrival of gastarbeiters from Central Asia, the Caucasus or elsewhere; but two other population flows may be even more important for the country’s future: the flight from villages to the cities and the exit of people from the north and […]

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Welcome to Gdov, where Russia comes to an end; Russia’s westernmost district is dying out – and with it, hopes for the country’s rebirth.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Sergey Damberg – November 1, 2017) Sergey Damberg is a sociologist and graduate of St Petersburg and Bielefeld universities. He directs the Expertise sociological bureau, and is a researcher at Centre for Independent Social Research. In 2014-2015, Damberg was the general manager of Pskov Drama theatre. Together with Russian sociologist Sergey Damberg, we start a new column series […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘No miracles’: labor shortage set to hit Russia’s GDP” – Reuters/Denis Pinchuk, Maria Kiselyova

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“A dearth of young people joining Russia’s workforce because of a low birth rate will shave several percent off potential economic growth in the next five to six years, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said. … the labour shortage made it hard for technology companies, among others, to recruit staff they need …. * * * ‘To a large extent economic growth […]

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Another Worrying Sign For Russia’s Dire Demographics

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – September 27, 2017 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-population-decline-labor-oreshkin/28760413.html) Many advanced economies are wondering how breakthroughs in technology could leave whole swaths of the population unemployed, but in Russia the government is pondering how to fill jobs with a dramatically shrinking work force. Economy Minister […]

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The caring state: how Russia’s new babushkas are filling in the welfare gaps; Expectations of babushki taking care of their grandchildren, shaped by the Soviet history of family and economic policies, are hard to implement in a radically different post-socialist context.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Inna Leykin – September 25, 2017) Inna Leykin is an assistant professor of anthropology at the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at the Open University of Israel. Little Alesha is pushing his stroller down the boulevard. While he practices his new walking skills, Nadia, Alesha’s mom, laments the insufficiency of daycare in the city: “I’ve heard […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian life expectancy reaches a record 72.5 years” – bne Intellinews/

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

“The average life expectancy of Russians reached 72.5 years for the first time in history … according to Rosstat … men’s life expectancy increased by a year from 66.5 to 67.5 years and for women it was 77.4 years. During the worst of the economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, male life expectancy fell to […]

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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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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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Ten Percent Decline in Number of Births in Russia over Last Year Frightens Economists

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2017) Just before the May holidays, Russia’s state statistical agency released figures on births, deaths and marriages that Moscow may hope no one will notice because they are so bad; but Russian economists have sounded the alarm that the population decline they point to may make impossible for the Russian […]

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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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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Be fertile and multiply: How to spur a baby boom, a la Russe?”

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

After an upswing from 2005 to 2015, Russia’s birth rate is once again declining. Meanwhile, mortality continues to grow, and the government needs innovative ideas and reforms to rectify the situation. Proposed measures, however, primarily benefit women and ignore the interests of men. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – April 21, 2017) Russia’s Education and […]

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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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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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Russia Wants Immigrants the World Doesn’t;  While Europe and the U.S. tighten border controls, former Soviet states are encouraged by Moscow to send their workers.

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – March 14, 2017) [Text with photos here bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-03-14/russia-s-alternative-universe-immigrants-welcome] On a brutally cold February day, hundreds of laborers from Uzbekistan mill around in the snow and mud of a construction site 10 miles outside Moscow. Surrounding them are a series of unfinished 18-story apartment blocks meant to serve as homes for Russian military officers. […]

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