Kremlin media were forbidden to talk about the decline in the birth rate to a minimum under Putin

Kremlin-controlled media and news outlets have been ordered to reduce reporting on Russia’s demographic crisis, two state media sources told The Moscow Times.

According to one of them, the ban has become particularly strict in the last month: journalists are obliged to stop reporting negatively, even official Rosstat statistics.

His latest publication, covering the period from January to May 2023, showed that the number of births in the country fell by 1.2% year-on-year to 511.7 thousand. And the relative birth rate of 8.5 children per 100,000 population has fallen to its lowest level since 1999. As a result: over the five months of 2023, Russia lost another 236.7 thousand. people as a result of a natural decline in the population of almost 600,000. people last year and 2.9 million accumulated over the last five years.

Additional signs of tightening censorship in the state media appeared precisely in relation to news about the birth rate, a source told The Moscow Times.

The “trial” came shortly after the meeting between the head of the Ministry of Health Mikhail Murashko and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 12.

A week after these meetings, the minister made a series of outrageous statements about the social role of women and announced additional measures to limit abortion and tighten control over abortion drugs.

Speaking in the State Duma on July 18, Muraszko, in particular, called the desire of women to get an education and create a material base for themselves, and only then have a child, “a perverse practice.” “As a result, many problems arise: infertility, miscarriage, in vitro fertilization. Reduced time for the birth of the third and fourth child. We need to analyze the situation, said the minister.

In addition, Muraszko announced an increase in control over drugs for medical abortion: they will be transferred to the regime of “subject-quantitative accounting”, similarly to drugs and psychotropic drugs.

Moreover, according to Muraszka, the Ministry of Health is ready to discuss the possibility of banning abortion in private clinics. “Reducing abortion is a key issue we are working on. The number of abortions has decreased significantly in recent years, but there is still a reserve, explained the minister.

According to Rosstat, the number of births in Russia has been steadily declining since the annexation of Crimea and has since fallen by almost a third: 1.942 million in 2014, 1.94 million in 2015, 1.888 million in 2016, 1.69 million in 2017, 1.604 million in 2018, 1.481 million in 2019, 1. 436 million in 2020, 1.398 million in 2021, 1.304 million in 2022

The mobilization and death of tens of thousands of men in the war will inevitably bring about a deterioration of the demographic situation – the number of births will decrease by another 5-10% and will be the lowest since the beginning of the 19th century, thinks demographer Alexei Raksha.

“At the beginning of the 19th century, in 1943, in 1999, about the same number of children were born, and in 2023, about the same number of children will most likely be born – 1.2 out of just over a million,” the expert predicts.


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