Russian President Vladimir Putin has appealed to the country’s women to give birth to as many as eight children and make it a “norm” to create large families.
He made the statement while speaking at the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow on Tuesday (Nov 28).
The birth rate in Russia has been declining since the 1990s and the country has recorded more than 300,000 casualties in the Ukraine war, as per a report published by The Independent.
In the speech, Putin said boosting the country’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,” said Putin, while addressing the council through a video link.
“Let us preserve and revive these excellent traditions. Large families must become the norm, a way of life for all of Russia’s people. The family is not just the foundation of the state and society, it is a spiritual phenomenon, a source of morality,” he said.
The entire speech was uploaded on the official website of the Russian president.
“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,” Putin said.
Putin’s Comment Linked To Massive Casualties Suffered In War?
Head of Russia’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill organised the conference and the representatives of many traditional organisations of Russia attended it, said The Independent.
Though the comments of the Russian president did not directly refer to the massive casualties suffered by the Russian Army in the war against Ukraine, many media outlets have linked the statement to the loss borne in the conflict.
UK defence ministry had estimated the death toll from the Ukraine war at more than 300,000.
As per a report by the independent Russian policy group Re: Russia, nearly 820,000-920,000 people have till now fled the country.
The country is also dealing severe shortage of workforce and there has economic slowdown because of the sanctions imposed by the West, in retaliation to the war waged by Russia against Ukraine.