Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to reinstate the Soviet-created “Mother Hero” award for women with 10 children or more in an apparent attempt to alleviate the country’s demographic crisis. He signed a decree on Monday the 15th, which was reported by the media this Thursday, the 18th.
Originally, the award was introduced by dictator Joseph Stalin after World War II, when the Soviet population plummeted into the tens of millions. However, the honor was extinguished with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Once it comes back into existence, a payment of 1 million rubles ($16,500) will be given to Russian mothers as soon as their tenth child turns one, if they all survive.
According to the latest statistics from the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), Russia’s population shrank by an average of 86,000 people per month between January and May, a record.
In addition, Russia is suffering heavy losses among troops in Ukraine, but the true number of casualties has not been released.
In an attempt to alleviate the country’s population crisis, the Kremlin also focused on promoting traditional values.
Meanwhile, around 75,300 migrants have left Russia. Some citizens are fleeing the country due to the Ukrainian war and the Kremlin’s political crackdown, according to immigration figures and flight information.
For example, the search term “How to get out of Russia?” in Russian hit a 10-year high on Google a week after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Russian interest in the topic of “emigration” on Google also quadrupled between mid-February and early March. Searches around “travel visa” nearly doubled, and searches on “political asylum” increased more than fivefold.
Over a 30-day period in March, Australia, Turkey and Israel were some of the most popular destinations, alongside Russia’s friendly Serbia and Armenia, as well as Georgia – which Russian forces invaded in 2008.