While Putin’s war continues to ravage Ukraine and consume Russia, both countries face a similar symptom: plummeting birth rates that threaten their respective futures.
Ukraine’s Birth Rate Crisis:
- The first six months of the year saw a 28% decrease in births compared to the same period pre-war, marking the most significant decline since Ukraine’s 1991 independence.
- Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s fertility rate lagged as Europe’s lowest. Now, it faces the possibility of having the world’s lowest fertility rate, with further population shrinkage anticipated. This decline presents long-term challenges for Ukraine’s recovery and defense against ongoing Russian threats.
Russia’s Birth Rate Concerns:
- Russia’s official birth rate currently stands at 1.5 births per woman, with the actual rate is even lower.
- A recent initiative was launched targeting cities such as Novgorod, Penza, and Tambov, with dire birth rates. However, the specifics of this program remain under wraps, which has dark undertones as to why information is limited.
- Demographic politician Yuri Krupnov predicts that Russia’s population of 143 million could halve over the next 70 years.
The War’s Role in the Dual Crisis:
- Vladimir Putin’s aggressive campaign in Ukraine inadvertently exacerbates demographic challenges in both countries.
- In Ukraine, the ongoing conflict separates families, causes mass exodus, and instils fear that deters couples from expanding their families. Kyiv’s largest maternity hospital has seen a birth decrease, from 350-400 monthly births before the war to approximately 250 this year.
- Putin’s pointless military ventures strain resources, divert focus from domestic challenges, and, like all wars, directly contribute to the declining population.
As the shadows of the war lengthen, the compounding effects of declining birth rates pose severe challenges to Russia and Ukraine’s chances of recovery and growth.