Putin revives 'Mother Heroine' title, announces reward of 13L for bearing 10 kids

Updated on Aug 18, 2022 01:36 PM IST

The Russian president Putin this week signed an order that said women who bear and raise 10 or more children will be bestowed with Russia’s 'Mother Heroine' title as an 'honour'.

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin.(AP)
File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin.(AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree, reviving the Soviet-era war of "Mother Heroine" as the country battles a demographic crisis fueled by plunging birth rates.

The Russian president Putin this week signed an order that said women who bear and raise 10 or more children will be bestowed with Russia’s 'Mother Heroine' title as an 'honour'.

They will also receive a one-time payment of 1 million rubles (approx 13 lakh) after the 10th living child turns one, local reports said. The mothers will 'qualify' for the 'award' even if any of their children die in battle, as the result of a terrorist act or in an emergency situation, the report said.

This decree was first introduced in 1944 by Soviet leader Josef Stalin in the wake of massive population losses during World War II. The title stopped being awarded after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 following the Cold War.

Russia’s population has been in near-constant decline for decades, falling to 145.1 million after a decline of around 400,000 in early 2022. It fell dramatically in the 1990s that were characterised by the tough economic and social climate after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Putin has faced demographic problems for much of the time since he became president in 2000.

Previous attempts to improve the situation have been unsuccessful, causing concern among economists about what the impact of having a smaller workforce will be on the economy.

In 2018 the population of 147 million - a figure that includes Crimea although it is not internationally recognized as part of Russia - contracted by 86,000.

Since 2021, the rate of Russia's population decline has almost doubled when the Covid-19 pandemic led to the country’s largest natural population decline, worsening the demographic woes.

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