(MOSCOW) — Russian President Vladimir Putin recently reinstated a Soviet-era award, giving women who have ten or more children a single payment of a million rubles (worth $16,747 USD, as of publishing).
The honorary title and certification of “Mother Heroine” are given to the mother once their tenth living child turns 1 year old.
According to Putin’s decree, mothers will still be eligible for the award if their child dies as a result of war or from an act of terrorism, or in an emergency situation.
The Mother Heroine award was initially established by Josef Stalin in 1944 to encourage repopulation in wake of the country’s high casualty count from World War II. At the time, the award was described as a “badge of special distinction” but was stopped in 1991 alongside the fall of the Soviet Union.
With an average household size of 3.2 people, Russia’s population has been declining at a rapid rate over the past 30 years, as reported by Statistica.
Recent estimates state that between January and May of 2022, the population of the Russian Federation fell by over 430,000 people, 20% being those who have left the country, according to the Russian statistics agency Rosstat.
Though Russian authorities do not provide an official toll for the number of citizens who have been killed in the war in Ukraine, 5,256 deaths are estimated, according to independent news outlet, istories.
According to the data department of the Russian Database on Fertility and Mortality, the death rate of young people in Russia has increased by 18% due to war.
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