Moscow, Dec 01, 2023: Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged women in the country to have as many as eight children and make large families the "norm". Mr Putin said this while addressing the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow on Tuesday. Russia’s birth rate has been falling since 1990s and the country has suffered more than 300,000 casualties since the start of Ukraine War in February last year, The Independent said in a report. Mr Putin said boosting Russia’s population will be "our goal for the coming decades".
"Many of our ethnic groups have preserved the tradition of having strong multigenerational families with four, five, or even more children. Let us remember that Russian families, many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had seven, eight, or even more children," Mr Putin said while addressing the council via video link on Tuesday (November 28).
"Let us preserve and revive these excellent traditions. Large families must become the norm, a way of life for all Russia’s peoples. The family is not just the foundation of the state and society, it is a spiritual phenomenon, a source of morality," he added.
The full speech has been uploaded on Russian President’s official website.
"Preserving and increasing the population of Russia is our goal for the coming decades and even generations ahead. This is the future of the Russian world, the millennium-old, eternal Russia," Mr Putin said.
The conference was organised by the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, and was attended by representatives of several traditional organisations of Russia, said The Independent.
Though the Russian President’s comments did not directly refer to the scale of casualties suffered by Russian soldiers in the Ukraine War, but many outlets have linked it to the conflict.
The UK’s defence ministry has said that number of dead in Ukraine had likely crossed 300,000. There are also a report by an independent Russian policy group Re:Russia that claims an estimated 820,000-920,000 people have fled the country.
Russia is also witnessing severe workforce shortage and an increasing economic slowdown due to sanctions imposed by the West in the wake of the Ukraine War.
The Independent said that Russia’s population was 146,447,424 on January 1, 2023, lower than the figure in 1999 when Mr Putin assumed the presidency.