With Russia’s population plummeting, the country’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, has launched a public relations campaign to encourage parents to have more children. On June 1, Medvedev honored couples with as many as 16 children with a Kremlin reception and awarded them the “Order of Parental Glory.”
Russia’s population has dropped drastically since the collapse of communism in 1991. Alcoholism, AIDS, severe poverty and serious pollution have reduced the average Russian male’s life expectancy to 60 years – far shorter than in other European countries, the Associated Press reported. Demographers warn that Russia’s population could decline another 30 million by 2050.
The families received a medal and a cash award equal to $1,630. The government has urged Russians to have large families as a marker of social progress.
“We must strive to make the humane treatment of children and the aspiration to create full-fledged, big families measurements of the development of our society, our state,” Medvedev said, according to the AP.
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