EDITORIAL: Russia vs. Vietnam


Russia and Vietnam

A report on Business Insider entitled “Russia is Toast” offers a series of arguments in favor of booting Russia out of the BRIC group and bringing in Australia and South Africa to create a new group called BASIC.  Russia, of course, no more bears comparison to Brazil, India or China than it does to the members of the other group to which it claims membership, the European democracies of the G-8.  The item we republish below today on Russia’s “mausoleum of democracy” makes that clear.

The report’s most interesting feature, however, is a pair of charts comparing Russia to lowly little Vietnam — and showing that the little Asian nation handily whips Russia in essential characteristics.  The impact of simply reflecting on the meaning of these graphics is genuinely shocking.

The first chart, shown above, illustrates a projection of comparative population growth between the two nations.  The revelation that the population of tiny Vietnam could actually exceed that of gigantic Russia before the middle of this century is truly mind-blowing.

The second chart, above, shows the blowback of population fatigue on economic performance.  Of course, a nation whose more remote villages are rapidly becoming ghost towns can hardly be expected to maintain a dynamic level of economic productivity even if it is not burdened with record-setting corruption the way Russia is.

Wracked by a massive war just 30 years ago which was at least as devastating to Vietnam as World War II was to Russia, and lacking any of the energy resources with which Russia is blessed, tiny Vietnam has nonetheless forged its way into the modern world as a huge success story while Russia, despite all its advantages, has only turned time backwards towards its failed Soviet past.

Far better understanding basic economic fundamentals and far more caring towards its population, the government and economy of Vietnam have show only resilience and resurgence in the face of the global economic crisis, while Russia by contrast has suffered more than any other major nation on the planet.

These pictures tell the story of Putin’s Russia more eloquently than any words could ever do.  And what is most tragic about them is that the people of Russia will never see them, because the KGB regime over which Putin presides will not show them on national TV or discuss them in the national press. Instead, it will do the same as the USSR did, lie, cheat, steal and conceal until the edifice of the nation comes crashing down, eaten up from within by corruption and failure.

54 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia vs. Vietnam

  1. Vietnam looks to be “success story”: US Professor

    Vietnam has successfully overcome the recent global financial crisis thanks to developing an open economy, strengthening investment attraction, and stepping up exports, said Harvard University Professor Joseph Nye.


  2. The fact is that Russia has a huge problem.

    The recent story that Russia is going to send a rocket out into space and divert an asteroid from hitting earth is a give away.

    Fantastic stories like that are a sign that this regime is hitting bottom.

  3. Hi! I’m a regular reader of your blog and I agree with most (well, almost all) things that are presented here about Russia, especially about the non-existence of democracy there, which I consider most worrying. I come from Croatia, a post-communist country which is not much more developed than Russia economically, and also has a declining population, but at least it is a democracy.
    Since I was born in 1989, I can hardly imagine how a non-democratic society looks like. And I hope there will be young Russians in the future who will feel unburdened by the dark past as me and other young Croats feel today.

    But, there’s something I feel I should add to this topic.

    China and Vietnam are developing rapidly. We all agree about that. But they are still far from Russia’s GDP per capita and Human Development Index (according to CIA World Factbook, 2800$ for Vietnam, 6000$ China, 16100$ Russia).

    China and Vietnam are still mostly agrarian societies that are industrializing ( cca 50% or more of the labour force works in agriculture), while Russia already is industrialized (about 6% works in agriculture, if I recall correctly).

    Therefore, shouldn’t we wait for Vietnam and China to reach Russia’s current level of development, and then see if they’re still developing rapidly? Maybe they’ll come to a painful halt, just like Russia. Or maybe these densely populated countries could outright collapse, considering the enormous pressure e.g. China is putting on its environment, already now.

    The point I’m trying to bring through, is that Russia’s failure is not due to Russia’s specifics, but due to the inherent flaws of communism raised by bloody revolution in a agrarian, despotic society , such as the Russian Empire and the countries of East Asia.

    The countries of Central Europe succeded economically because they already had an industrial base and have known democracy at the time when Stalin and Tito imposed communism over them. For example, Slovenia has a higher GDP per capita than South Korea.

    But East Asia never had democracy and had no industry, and that’s why I believe the economies of totalitarian, still communist regimes of China and Vietnam are currently undergoing the same phase of rapid develoment the USSR went thourgh during the 1960s, and I believe they will end up the same way in the end. In fact, I believe they will go even below Putin’s Russia, as much as I hate that man and his policies. China’s one child policy could prove to be a demographic disaster not seen in the modern age, because the huge pre-one-child-policy generations are becoming old, and the new generations which have much less people are going to have hell of a time sustaining them. It could be a Russia on steroids.

    So if you want to smack Russia, smack it with countries that have thrown away communsim, gone through crisis and even war, and are still more developed than Russia, such as Poland, Hungary or Croatia. Give the Russians something they can relate to and look upon. Something they can reach.
    I think you won’t achieve that with comparing them to Vietnam, or Camboja or whatever. Russia has already passed their level of development, and a politician or economist who would suggest emulating their ways of development would be an even greater fool than Putin.

    Russia only has Central and Western Europe to look to, and I think you should focus on comparing these countries to Russia and warn of Russia’s shortcomings compared to them.
    I think that that way you will achieve the best effect. Keep up this wonderful blog please!Yours,


    • “China’s one child policy could prove to be a demographic disaster not seen in the modern age, because the huge pre-one-child-policy generations are becoming old, and the new generations which have much less people are going to have hell of a time sustaining them. It could be a Russia on steroids.”

      …and considering the families prefer the boys and adopt out the girls (large percentage to USA), can’t wait for the day China wants her girls back! What a whale of an excuse to invade America!!

      But as for the comparisons with Vietnam; while you may have a point, it should also be noted that Russia’s infrastructure (even in its most urban areas) is crumbling and in some cases nonexistent. La Russ has had frequent articles on such things. While Vietnam is heading up on the scales, Russia is bound and determined to go down.

      • So you think that the one-child policy won’t be bad for China in the end? China’s population certainly will increase in the future, but the old-to-young ratio is changing rapidly in the favor of the old. I think that when China reaches a critical point, it’s economic growth will become very slow, like modern Japan. But an average Japanese will still be much better off than an average Chinese. I doubt an average Chinese could even reach the average Russian, simply due to do scarcity of resources.

        And Russia’s infrastructure is crumbling indeed. Solving that problem will not be easy. Maybe aspiring to and joining the EU is the only long-term solution? As for Vietnam, I already said it started from a low base, so let’s see how its infrastructure and environment will fare when it reaches Russia’s standard of living and becomes less competitive on the market.

        We do not know what the communists (the ones in charge) are thinking. Maybe Chinese and Vietnamese market reforms are not a genuine attempt at improving the lives of their people, but merely an attempt to buy social order and keep the Party in power indefinitely, just like Putin did with oil revenues. Communists have proven to a ruthless and selfish aristocracy everywhere, sparing no one in their quest for power.

        As yo can see, I do not believe East Asia will rule the world. I believe it is the USA, the EU and maybe Mercosur who will stay at the helm for centuries, while most of Asia and Africa will be struggling to meet people’s basic needs.

        Now, Russia is by all means capable of joining the first group. It only needs to democratize at the moment. But unfortunately, under Putin it is heading towards the second group.

        • Oh, but of course the one-child policy is ultimately bad for China. Already there are articles about the “emperor generation”, and how self-serving (not very ultruistic) in nature these “youngsters” are. Sorry…sarcasm can be downright unattainable via the written word…and you may have missed it in the beginning of my writings.

          As for “how” it will not be good for China may be up for discussion. I see your point of view from an economic standpoint…I see it from a very basic human nature standpoint. Majority of men I have met are afflicted with something called a high testosterone level. Now imagine an entire society where this level is rising, but the outlet for it is basically, nonexistent. Someone’s barometer is going explode. This is just a casual observation.

          Your third and final paragraphs are most eloquent and on the mark.

  4. Vietnam, like China, has a labour force one can exploit. A company might get rich in Vietnam but the people won’t.

    • Hopefully you realize that Russia’s workforce is just as exploited, yet so inefficient that Russia can’t even get a competitive edge from that exploitation, which means Russia has the worst of all possible worlds, unlike the other two.

  5. This Business Insider “article” is a typical anti-Russian propaganda piece from a typical low-IQ russophobe:

    “Russia is one of the only major industrial nations that is losing population.”

    First of all, what does the phrase “one of the only major industrial nations” mean?

    Second, Russia is not losing population. It’s gaining it:


    Immigrants ensure Russia’s population growth – minister

    Tatyana Golikova said as of November 1, Russia’s population was 141.9 million and that by January 1, 2010, it would be 15,000 to 25,000 more than for the same period in 2009.

    Third, many industrial nations experience population decline, including those in the European Union, Europe in general, and Japan. For example:


    Bulgaria 0.79
    Croatia 0.052
    Czech R 0.094
    Estonia 0.632
    Georgia 0.325
    Germany 0.053
    Italy 0.047
    Hungary 0.257
    Japan 0.191
    Latvia 0.614
    Lithuania 0.279
    Poland 0.047
    Romania 0.147
    Slovenia 0.113

  6. Thanks Hroboatos. Good Post.

  7. It is not just LaRussophobe and some of us that recognise that under Putin’s stewardship Russia has coursed itself serious economic damage, Russia’s new middle class have taken quiet yet serious notice.

    Because of aggressive bully boy tactics, systemic corruption and a mountainous level of state bureaucracy Russia is not an investment friendly country, Russia was always a high risk punt, a tempting target for speculators who were looking to make a quick profit and then run with the cash, new reforms proposed by Obama on Bank regulation designed to halt reckless speculation will quickly drain liquidity from the Russian markets leaving only a hand full of long term foreign investors. And Russia’s own blue chip companies like Gazprom who are already heavily in debt ($59 billion).

    The signs are that Russia’s new middle class, who have seen no significant business friendly reforms just an endless stream of broken promises, are preparing to vote with their feet (well the ballot box is useless in Russia)

    According to European real estate agencies, last year Russians bought 41% of real estate in and around Paris, Berlin and Rome. And the amount of Russian buyers in London rose by 25% in the same period says Ekaterina Thain, Partner and Director of Residential at Knight / Frank. Moscow real estate market has suffered a shape decline; many planned builds have been shelved through a lack of buyer interest.

    These new buyers of European property are not the well know billionaires, who snap up £10 million park lane mansions, these are the new middle class Russians, they are buying middle range properties, and as the figures show there are thousands of them. These people are taking the money they earned during the boom years between 2003-7 into what they see as amore stable investment environment, Plus they want their children to receive a first class education with degrees honestly obtained that are recognised throughout the world.

    The departure of Russia’s new middle class entrepunuers will be the final nail in Russia’s economic coffin, Nice work Putin.

    • RV,

      I am happy to see that the previously weak Russian middle class can now buy up Western Europe ( In the past, only the Russian upper class was buying up vacation properties).

      But has any significant percentage of them quit their jobs and businesses in Russia and emigrated to permanently live in the newly-bought vacation homes in Europe? Please provide references.

  8. hroboatos, let’s be realistic. Russia has as much of a chance to become a EU member as Bangladesh. Leaving aside the huge size, the fact that Russia is geographically not in Europe, and Russia’s huge problems, Russia is not even culturally compatible with Europe. A country like, say, Morocco, has a better case for EU membership than Russia (or most other ex-Soviet states).

    • Russia is the periphery of Europe. But the same can be said about the entire Eastern Orthodox civilisation, except Greece and Cyprus. Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro are all on a similar level of development as Russia, shared the same history of being under Byzantine and Turkic despotism, experienced a more barbaric communism, and form the less succesful part of the former Eastern Bloc (the more succesful part being the array of nations from Estonia in the north to Croatia in the south).

      Yet somehow, Romania and Bulgaria pulled it off. They kept democracy, made economic reforms (not very succesfully), fought against corruption and now are members of the EU, despite the fact that the average Bulgarian monthly salary (250 EUR) is still lower than the average Russian monthly salary (350 EUR), and much lower than Croatian salary (700 EUR) or Czech salary (800 EUR).
      So, apart from its size, I do not see what can prevent a democratic (not Putin’s) Russia from becoming a member.

      So, either the EU will accept all free nations up to the Urals, or kick Romania and Bulgaria out. Anything else would only show that the Union has double standards.

      Putin’s Russia doesn’t have a chance of joining the EU. But Nemtsov’s or Khodorkovsky’s Russia?

      • Russia in its current borders would be still too big, and mostly in Asia.

        It would turn the EU into Eurasia.

        And never forget that Eurasia has always been at war with Eastasia ;)

      • hroboatos, you’re making some pretty idiotic generalizations. There’s no monolithic “Eastern Orthodox civilization.” Religion has nothing to do with the economic development of a country, and culturally, if you’re going to throw all those countries together, I don’t really see what makes Croatia and Greece stand out from other Balkan countries. Culturally, Croatia and Greece have a lot more in common with Turkey than, say, Romania, Ukraine and even Georgia.

        And you can’t measure a country’s development just by the average wage translated in euros. Have you ever been to Bulgaria? I’ve been there and it’s dirt cheap. The cost of living in both Romania and Bulgaria is lower than in Russia. I’d rather be living on 250 euros in Bulgaria than 350 in Moscow, one of the most expensive cities in the world. And besides, when judging quality of life you have to take into account corruption, quality of public services, criminality, life expectancy et etc. Russia is very far from either Romania or Bulgaria. But the EU is more than just an economic union, there are also cultural and political values that member states share. Bottom line, Bulgaria and Romania are European, Russia is not. Romania is a Romance nation with a democratic tradition that precedes many Western European countries, and Bulgaria has made a lot of progress as well (more than Croatia has, having in mind that Romania and Bulgaria are in the EU, and Croatia is not).

        To answer your question, Nemtsov’s Russia will probably immigrate to the US, Canada and the UK. That’s the sad truth.

        • What you say about Croatia and Greece having much in common with Turkey is true. It’s just that they are different from other countries I mentioned. Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungary for centuries, and Greece was never under communism.

          But I was mistaken to put all those countries in the same basket. And I have never been to Bulgaria or Russia, so you’re probably much more knowledgeable about life there. I admit it is stupid to take only one variable and make conclusions.

          I stand corrected.

          And I am really annoyed at my government that my country still isn’t part of the EU, but I believe that with our new prime minister in the fight against corruption we will catch up with Romania and Bulgaria very soon.

        • I’m sorry for double posting, but some other things have just occured to me.

          I think we can disqualify Russia from joining the EU, but I still think that Russia has no alternative than to become aligned to the West.
          I believe this is in the West’s interests too. Allowing Russia’s resources to fall in Chinese hands could provide China with just enough to become a real threat, first to Japan, then to the rest of us.

          As for Romania and Bulgaria, they still have some serious issues, like being source countries for human trafficking and lack of tolerance towards the Roma, and in Bulgaria’s case a rapidly declining population, with increasing mortality rates. Croatia doesn’t have these issues. Corruption levels are similar in all three countries.

  9. Earlier I posted that there could be a possible exodus of Russia’s new middle class to Europe. I have found another interesting piece of evidence which points to this possibility.

    In the spring of 2008 there were 10,000 Russian students taking MBA masters degrees in business in Russian universities.

    By the spring of 2009 this number had fallen to 5,000.

    At the same time 70% of MBA master degree courses across Europe have reported an upsurge of Russian applications.

    To add; Russian have always bought holiday homes in places like Bulgaria or Egypt, but suburban homes in Paris, Rome, London is a new trend. And in such high numbers seems a little strange to me.

    anyone got an explanation for this?

    • Explanation for what?

      For why so many Russians get their MBA in the West? Because there was no free business in the USSR and thus western MBAs are better than Russian and Eastern European MBAs. In Russia, a western MBA gets you a better job and a much higher salary.

      Why do rich people buy holiday homes in the best places? Because they can.

      Why in high numbers? Because there are a lot of rich people among what you call “new middle class” in Russia who can afford to buy holiday homes.

      • I wonder how they use their MBA’s in Russia. I doubt U Penn’s MBA course includes a class in bribe giving or taking, and that seems to be the only skill that is needed in doing “business” in Russia

        • Most top young Russian managers have an MBA from the West. For example, here is the company taken public and co-managed by my friends with MBAs from USA:


          Pharmacy Chain 36.6 “(RTS: APTK) – Russia’s largest drugstore chain. Full name – Open Joint Stock Company “Pharmacy chain 36,6”. Headquarters – in Moscow.

          Pharmacy Chain 36.6 is a public company whose shares are traded on the Russian stock exchange the RTS and MICEX (ticker APTK). [1].

          Chairman of the Board of Directors – Sergei Krivosheyev, General Director – Valery Solok (15 September 2009). [3] Artem Bektemirov and Sergei Krivosheev directly own 4,37% of shares plus they own 47.57% in equaty through 36,6 Investments Ltd. [2] In the free float – 40% (estimate RTS). [4]

          Pharmacy Chain 36.6 operates a network of 1,127 pharmacies in 29 regions in 90 cities of Russia.

          The company’s revenues in 2008 (IFRS) – $ 1.5 billion (an increase of 20,7%).

        • Most top young Russian managers have an MBA from the West. For example, here is the company taken public and co-managed by my friends with MBAs from USA:


          Pharmacy Chain 36.6 “(RTS: APTK) – Russia’s largest drugstore chain. Full name – Open Joint Stock Company “Pharmacy chain 36,6”. Headquarters – in Moscow.

          Pharmacy Chain 36.6 is a public company whose shares are traded on the Russian stock exchange the RTS and MICEX (ticker APTK). [1].

          Pharmacy Chain 36.6 operates a network of 1,127 pharmacies in 29 regions in 90 cities of Russia.

          The company’s revenues in 2008 (IFRS) – $ 1.5 billion (an increase of 20,7%).

  10. 110m in Russia by 2050?! C’mon, I was hoping for 20m or so by 2020! I Have a Dream, that one day I would not be able to find the word “Russia” on my map.

    • We all have a dream that we will not be able to find your two-inch penis behind your trousers.

    • vonRas,

      Nazi Germans had exactly the same dream as you. It didn’t work out for them too well, did it? Although you guys managed to kill 27 million of us.

      Want to try again?

      • I didn’t work out too well for the USSR either. Civilian casualties were simply too high, and the Red Army could have fared a bit better too.

        Nothing a normal person would like to repeat.

        • [Nothing a normal person would like to repeat.]


          [the Red Army could have fared a bit better too. ]

          Well, 27 million civilian and military deaths are horrible. But in the end, USSR captured Berlin. BTW, more than 80% of all German military losses were at the hands of the Red Army.

          • 80% of all ARMY losses were at the hands of the Red army, meanwhile 90% of all airforce losses, and 95% of all naval losses, and 90% of all damage done to production facilities was at the hands of the western allies.

            Also interesting to note that fully half of the Germans elite SS and Panzer divisions were in western Europe facing the US & UK.

      • “27 million of us?” Who is this “us?” Didn’t you try to convince us here you were an American? Or is this little slip of the tongue subconscious?

        • In addition RV, Arthur fails to mention that only around 12 million or so of those were “Russians”, the other 15 million were from Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic Republics, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Chechnya etc etc etc.

          Funny how the Russians appropriate the sacrifice of other ethnicities for their own propaganda…

          • Indeed,since the Ukraine, White Russia and the Baltics were completely occupied by the Nazis, but only some parts of Russia proper were, it is reasonable to conclude that the proportion of the civilian population must have been much higher among non-Russians, ethnically speaking. Not even to mention Jews and Gypsies.

            And yet, he deftly passes the 27 million figure as if it just represented only ethnic Russians. The KGB practitioners of lies and deceit are at work…

          • [In addition RV, Arthur fails to mention that only around 12 million or so of those were “Russians”]

            Where did I say “Russians”? Here is what I said:

            “Well, 27 million civilian and military deaths are horrible. But in the end, USSR captured Berlin. BTW, more than 80% of all German military losses were at the hands of the Red Army.”

            Learn to read, retard.

            • Oooh, touchy little pedo today aren’t you Arthur.

              Pity you don’t take your own advice.

              However, my point that Russian filth such as yourself claim that “Russia” did everything in WW2 is still valid, just check Putina’s speeches for detail.

              • Andrea, please provide references.

                In any case, wouldn’t that still be not as bad as Saakashvili’s view that Stalin and Beria should have fought on the side of Nazi Germany?

                • References please pedo boy.

                  • So, Anderea, you have no references?

                    • You provide references about Saks comments, and I will provide references about how Russia and Russians claim all 27 million war dead as “Russians”

                    • No. Andrew, you go first. My comments about Saaka were in response to your original lie:

                      Andrew // January 26, 2010 at 9:22 am
                      [However, my point that Russian filth such as yourself claim that “Russia” did everything in WW2 is still valid, just check Putina’s speeches for detail.]

                      You cannot provide any evidence that I “claim that “Russia” did everything in WW2”. Nor can you provide any evidence that “Putina’s speeches”(sic.) contain such claims.

                      That’s two lies for the price of one.

      • “Nazi Germans had exactly the same dream as you.”

        Ah, zhee Redukto-ad-Fuhrerium. Ja iz goot, but only vhen von appliez et to someting zhat makes SENSE.

        For one, the German Nazis did not have THAT dream. By 2020, they pictured every Slav (and certainly every Russian) dead and incinerated decades beforehand See: diary of Hans Frank RE: German plans in the East.

        “Although you guys managed to kill 27 million of us.”

        Well, I didn’t know there were THAT many of you we caught spying on our side of the wall, or fighting under false Korean or Vietnamese identities.

        Or did you really think we are the same as our dear mutual friends the Jackboot brigade?

        Guess again, guv’ner.

  11. Modern Scythian

    Slava Rossii!!

  12. Please guys don’t you know it’s a waste of time debating with Russians when it comes to WW2, the mere mention of this event bring about both physical and psychological changes, their faces contort their eyes bulge and they begin to froth at the mouth, There brain switches into selective memory mode and Europe (the only place they fought) instead of being a continent becomes the entire planet,

    Russians selective memory prevents these recollections.

    1 Germany and the Soviet Union were allies between 1939-41
    2 Britain and the commonwealth fought the war alone between 1940-41
    3 Britain common wealth/ USA fought the North Africa campaign (no Russians)
    4 USA/Britain/commonwealth fought the Japanese Empire in Asia and pacific (no Russians) PS this is why it was a world war and not a continental war.
    5 USA supplied USSR through lend lease
    6 Allied merchant ships risked all supplying Russia
    7 British/US bomber destroyed Germany infrastructure shortening the war
    8 British/American code breakers supplied the soviets with intelligence, for example they gave the soviets Germany’s battle plans for Kursk ..

    The above is just a few examples, now I have the greatest respect for what the soviets achieved and the sacrifices they made,

    It’s a shame these chauvinistic hypocrites have not got the dignity to acknowledge our contribution and sacrifices.

    • Not even to mention that the U.S.S.R. attacked and/or invaded ALL six of the western neighbors she had in 1939, i.e., Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Romania.

      So mush for being the benefactor and savior of the world

      • Not to mention the Russian invasion of Georgia (1921), Poland 1920, and various other bits on nastiness that ocurred simply because the Russians wanted to reimpose the Russian Empire on those who had escaped it in 1917.

        Sound familiar?

  13. Excellent reply R John to Arthur’s monotonously pro communistic propaganda, which he seems to drag out of their sources one way or the other. It will not surprise me if he is frothing at the mouth working out a reply to you!

    Personally I have recently stopped reading his warped trash, period. Furthermore for me to reply to him is only to lower myself to his level. One only has to look at his name calling to get a clear picture of his character.

  14. Vietnam’s population is supposed to be 110 million in 2040


    In Russia, stability of population (without any immigration from asia or europe) should not decline that much and stay stable, aroun 140 million in 2040.

    It means that in 2040, Russian population will overpasse Vietnam’s by 30 million.

    So i am not sure about your thread’s veracity ;o

    • Well Alexandre, the UN and most analysts would tend to disagree.

      Check out the UNDP report (written mostly by Russians) that outlines thye disastrous demographic trends in Russia and was published in 2009.

      Click to access NHDR_Russia_2008_Eng.pdf

      And also the commentary on said report.

      “Since 1992, the natural decrease of Russia’s population has amounted to a staggering 12.3m people. This has been compensated to some degree by the arrival of 5.7m immigrants. But many are ethnic Russians from former Soviet republics, and the source is drying up. Overall, Russia had 142m people at the start of 2008, compared with 148.6m in 1993. By 2025, the figure will almost certainly fall below 140m and could be as low as 128m.”


      Russia’s population has fallen by 6.6 million since 1993, despite the influx of millions of immigrants, a United Nations report said Monday, and by 2025 the country could lose a further 11 million people.

      The result could be labor shortages, an aging population and slower economic growth, the U.N. said.

      Recent Kremlin efforts to reward women for having more babies have caused a surge in the birth rate, the report said, but won’t make much difference in the long term.

      It urged Russia to reduce its high mortality rate _ similar to that in parts of sub-Saharan Africa _ through reform of its public health system and by encouraging lifestyle changes _ especially a reduction in alcohol consumption.

      The United Nations Development Program report, titled “Russia Facing Demographic Challenges,” predicted that Russia will be forced to adapt to a smaller population and work force.

      “Efforts to resist the unfavorable trends must be combined with efforts to adapt to what cannot be resisted,” the report says.

      Population levels in many developed countries have stagnated and are expected to fall by 2025, but Russia’s population, currently around 142 million, has been in retreat since 1992. Russia’s mortality rate is among the highest in the developed world, with average life expectancy for males at barely 60 years.


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