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The Russian government announced this week that it will bring back a Soviet-era honorary title and financial reward bestowed on Russian women who have ten or more children.
In a decree signed this week by Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was announced that the title of “Heroine Mother” will once again be awarded to Russian women who “hide and raise” 10 Russian citizens.
The title will come with a reward of 1 million Russian rubles, equivalent to approximately $ 16,645 in US dollars, once the tenth child turns one year old. Recipients will also earn a five-pointed gold star medal, the decree states.
The title “Mother Heroine” comes with some warnings such as requiring all children to be alive on their 10th child’s first birthday unless they were killed during military service, civilian service or a terrorist attack.
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In addition, children must be well cared for and receive “the appropriate level of assistance for health, education, physical, spiritual and moral development”.
Russia began assigning “Mother Heroine” to mothers in 1944 and continued to do so until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.
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In recent years, Russia has faced a worsening population decline, exacerbated by heavy losses from the invasion of Ukraine, migration from Russia and a low birth rate.
The working-age population has decreased as a percentage of the overall population each year since 2010, UN data show.
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Rebekah Koffler, a former US DIA intelligence officer focused on Russia and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that she remembers the headline “Mother Heroine” from girl raised in Russia as part of the country’s plan over the years to “replenish the population lost in World War II, Stalin’s famine and purges.”
“Putin is reviving this Soviet-era tactic to offset the impact of his war on Ukraine, in which thousands of young men of child-producing age are dying,” Koffler said. “But the truth is that no rational young woman will have 10 children in Russia. First, the economic conditions do not allow it, there is no culture of having so many children. Since religion has been banned in the USSR, religious groups, like Catholics, who otherwise would have many children, no “.
Koffler explained that Putin introduced a similar push in 2007 when he declared National Conception Day and gave workers a vacation and a day off the next day for couples to conceive.
“None of these methods have completely solved the demographic crisis in Russia, where the total fertility rate is 1,824 births per woman, which is below the replacement level of 2.2,” Koffler said.