EDITORIAL: Putin is Killing Russia, Slowly, with his Neo-Soviet Song


Putin is Killing Russia, Slowly, with his Neo-Soviet Song

If you are a child in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, you have a 20% chance of being born in wedlock and not seeing your parents divorce.  30% of all Russian children (300 out of every 1,000) are bastards, born out of wedlock, and 70% of those born in wedlock (500 of the remaining 700) will see  their parents divorce. This means only one in five Russian children will have a shot at a “normal” home life.

No doubt out of pity for this pathetic chance of happiness, the average number of children per family in Russia is now 1.59, compared with 1.9 in 1990.  That’s a drop of over 15% in two decades.  Half of Russian couples have no children, less than five percent have more than two. And that’s with the Kremlin bribing couples silly to have children! Just imagine how far the rate would have fallen without such bribery!

These are some of the shocking facts revealed in an astounding advertising circular called “Russia Now” that the Russian government, through the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, pays to insert into publications like the UK’s Telegraph.  If the Kremlin is willing to admit things are as bad as this, do you dare to imagine how bad they really are?

Naturally, since the report was bought and paid for by the Kremlin, it doesn’t stop for a second to ask whether the radical drop in family size during the rule of Vladimir Putin might mean Russians were unwise in trusting him with power, nor does the report pay any attention to the horrific problems we have repeatedly documented with Russia’s hell-hole orphanages — another problem Putin has seen worsen on his watch with no corrective action on his part.

In fact, for all we know that clods who produce this propaganda didn’t even realize what they were doing, or maybe they were trying to gin up sympathy for the poor little Russians.  Whatever their motives, the Kremlin itself has boldly admitted the total failure of its family policy.  The Kremlin has been reduced to bribing parents to have more children, a crazed policy that takes no account of Russia’s real problem, the mortality rate.  And this policy is just not working.

Russia’s children face a truly bleak future in a society where families are breaking down rapidly and where the government places virtually no value on individual human life. What sane adult would want to bring children into a society where the risks of being brutally killed in everything from murders to road collisions to fires are astronomically higher than they are in civilized countries, where the government can seize your property or throw you in prison at will?  Who would wish such a fate upon their children?

Sensible Russians just say “nyet!”


46 responses to “EDITORIAL: Putin is Killing Russia, Slowly, with his Neo-Soviet Song

  1. From 1990 to today is two decades.

    • Thanks for the correction!

      • And if we discuss Putin, we must discuss Putin’s years’ statistics, right, honey?:)

        • Are you an idiot? The statistics show that in 1990 there were 1.9 children per family and today, at the end of 12 years of Putin (not even counting his time as prime minister under Yeltsin) there are only 1.59. During his years in power Putin has FAILED to restore the child-per-family rate that prevailed when Yeltsin took power.

          Those are the facts, honey.

          And it’s also a fact that after 12 years of Putin Russia doesn’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for life expectancy.


          So it seems like YOU are the one who doesn’t want to discuss Putin’s statistics.

  2. Russian guards order Stalin’s police-style coats (updated)
    Today at 21:38 | Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — The long black leather coats that struck fear into Soviet citizens as part of the ominous dress code for Stalin’s secret police appear to be making a comeback.

    Read more:


  3. Russian forest fires could be even worse this year
    Today at 20:52 | Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — A devastating wave of wildfires across Russia could ravage millions of acres of forests and cause worse damage than last year’s catastrophic blazes, environmentalists and officials said Thursday.

    “We’re burning, burning badly,” Greenpeace’s forestry expert, Alexey Yaroshenko, said. “This year’s situation is already much worse than last year’s.”

    Read more:


  4. Overall, I think you – really – grossly overestimate your supremacy in terms of intellectual might, compared to that of your readers.

    When I was asking for “Putin’s years statistics” I was telling you you should not count from 1990-ies (which are Yeltsin years), sunshine.

    On the contrary, if you compare early Putin years (1,157 in 1999 – ain’t they US economic advisers to Yeltsin did a fine job?) and late Putin’s years (1,537 in 2009) you will see that none of the US presidents in history ever did as well as Putin in restoring his nation’s wish to give life.

    In ten years total fertility rate in Russia boomed from 1,157 to 1,537 (compare to Ukraine’s 1,27 and 1,42 of Germany in 2010). Which means it was Putin’s policies that convinced every 1 out of 2 families in Russia to have a second child. And that there’s no Putin in Germany or Ukraine.

    All the data is easy to found on the corresponding pages Wikipedia.

    • Bray as you will, jackass, nothing can change the fact that family size under Putin, after nearly 12 year of his rule, is much lower than it was in 1990.

      Since you’re illiterate it probably does not make any difference to tell you, but this post is about familiy size, not fertility. And Russia’s big problem isn’t either one, it’s mortality, you inbred doofus. So, of course, you ignore that too.

      • [deleted]

        Unsourced factual allegations are banned on this blog. Please observe our comment guidelines or do not comment.

      • Dear LR, if you are capable of looking up the Russian State Statistics site, you will see that the Russian mortality has been falling continuously since 2003. It would be difficult for me to provide the link, since the web site provides the output in the form of database/excel files. What were you really afraid of deleting my previous comment? I don’t think you have ever asked from mccusa the source for his statements that Moscow is 80% Muslim or that Russia has no GDP.

          • It’s more than a little ridiculous for you to suggest that the government of Russia can be taken at its word. Can’t you find ANY foreign source confirming your bizarre claim? Nevertheless:



            Russia continues to have MANY more people perish than get born each year, continues to see its population shrink, continues to rank outside the top 125 nations in the world for life expectancy. Yet you think Putin is a doing a good job, just as Russians thought Stalin was doing a good job during his time. With friends like you, Russia needs no enemies.

            • LR, there is just no other source that measures primary data. All the credible foreign sources, like the IMF, the World Bank, the CIA and the Wall Street use the GKS information. As I pointed out repeatedly, I have no idea how reliable any statistic provided by any nation is. You have no idea either. But this is the best information available there, unless you have tangible proof that this information is wrong. Your other claims are right, but again, dynamics are more important than absolute numbers when effectiveness of political regimes is measured. Under Putin/Medvedev, fewer Russians are dying and more Russians are born every year. And the life expectancy is increasing each year. Does the regime do a stellar job? No it does not. But it ensures a steady improvement in the statistics. The same can be applied to pretty much everything. And as long as this is the fact, the regime will be supported.

              • Your logic is faulty. If even Putin himself admits there is still a massive problem, the REAL problem is far worse than that. To suggest that Putin, a proud KGB spy, can be believed is the ravings of a madman. If it makes you feel better to believe that Russia is going extinct a little bit slower under Putin than previously, you care very little about Russia.

                • LR, I am not sure I am understanding your premise. I did not deny there was a problem, although Russia is not going extinct in our or in the next generation’s lifetimes. The situation appears to be improving every year, and Russia can reasonably be expected to “stop going extinct” within the next two or three years due to decreasing mortality and immigration. There are no precedents in the world when a regime change could improve demographics dramatically. There was a precedent in Russia when a regime change led to a worsening in demographics. Based on the above, why would Russians risk a regime change if the current regime has been effective in ensuring that the problem is being slowly resolved. Again, the same can be applied to any area of life. There are just no short-term incentives for the Russians to seek the change in the regime at this point in time. And also I disagree with your equating the regime with Putin. If Putin drops dead tomorrow and Shmutin takes place, this is not likely to change the regime. The regime’s problems are of a long-term nature, and unfortunately populations are not thinking long-term.

                  • It cannot reasonably be expected to do so if Putin is lying, and lying is Putin’s life’s work. The links we gave show Putin’s own government admitting that mortality increased last year.

                    You have NO corroboration of Putin’s claims from any credible source. It always strikes us as wildly hilarious that Russophiles attack as incredible and biased neutral international organizations like Transparancy International and then blithely accept the Kremlin’s statements at face value.

                    It’s just this simple: If Russia were going extinct because of Putin’s policies, would Putin admit it?

                    Do you recall how the USSR told the world all was well, then collapsed? Those who cannot remember history (like you) are doomed to repeat it.

                    • Well, again, you have no better data than that provided by the Russian statistic agency. No other organization in the world gets records from all the Russian maternity wards and morgues, adds up the numbers and comes up with mortality rates. If you dismiss this data, you admit you have no idea what is going on. Maybe Putin is lying to you to dupe you into believing that Russia is dying out while getting his huge armies ready to attack the bastions of democracy worldwide. Maybe Russia is extinct already and is totally empty except for a handful of cities where Western journalists go. The same is applicable to pretty much any other statistic. If you post based on the premise that no credible information whatsoever is available about Russia, that the populace is totally brainwashed into thinking it lives better every year, if nothing is what it seems to be, then I guess we are wasting our time trying to argue. Then — plain and simple — based on unfounded believes and unverifiable information — you think that Russia is on the brink of collapse and I — aslo based on unverifiable data — I think it is not. There’s just nothing to argue about.

                      You, however, have no proof whatsoever that all the figures about Russia are unreliable. I use statistics in my everyday job and — guess what — more often than not, decisions and judgments based on statistics turn out to be better than those that are not, whether the stats come from the US, the Congo or Russia. Denying this is just unprofessional and childish.

                      I think there are many legitimate points on which an intelligent critic could attack the Russian regime, and the criticism could be only enhanced by considering — not childishly dismissing — the regime’s successes.

                    • larussophobe

                      You’re totally ignoring a whole host of data that is relevant because you are blindly propagandizing. For example, a whole generation is now abandoning Russia:


                      More want to leave now than did when Putin first took office. What does that tell you?

                      Maybe they understand Russia better than you do?

                    • Well, LR, reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. I maybe ignoring a sensationalist article from the WSJ, but again statistics say that more people come to Russia in search for a better life than the number of people who leave Russia for the same reason. I know, I know, you cannot trust any statistic… a WSJ journalist for whom the article is a fraction of his time on the job knows better than a dedicated agency in charge of collecting and analyzing primary data.

                    • But again, LR, rather than accusing me of propaganda and trading personal insults (by the way, I’ve never denied that I left Russia as well), you should try to understand what this article really says. Then, even without childishly denying the demographic stats, you can develop a valid argument based on the article. There is no denial that the article indicates that a growing number of people are disappointed in how much the regime delivers and how fast it delivers. More and more people are not satisfied with living better than yesterday and living better than people in Ukraine and Georgia do etc., etc… and although it is not likely that any significant number of these people will actually chose to leave Russia, the trend should be alarming for the regime.

                    • larussophobe

                      We think it’s you who is childish, both in believing the propaganda of a proud KGB spy unquestioningly and in suggesting you know better how to blog than the most successful English-language Russia bloggers on this planet.

                    • This statement is far from being mature. First of all, I did not think there was need for me to say that you should feel free to ignore my comments. Take them for what they are worth. I don’t consider you to be the most successful English-language Russia bloggers on this planet. And I don’t know how to blog. But I do have knowledge of the subject and find it to be fun to express my ideas here. If you think this blog is perfect without the input above, then ignore it. On “my believing Putin…”. I merely said that (i) this is the best data available; (ii) no one to my knowledge has proven it to be wrong and (iii) you don’t do yourself a favor by bluntly dismissing statistics: generally, decisions based on statistics turn out to be better than those that are not; this is valid for the US, Russia, the Congo and any other country.

                    • larussophobe

                      Far from being mature? Didn’t you just exclaim against personal insults? Why are you allowed to so indulge but we, the owners of the this blog, are not?


                      As such, your comments are vacuous childish drivel.

                    • There is a saying in Russia, which is really a combination of a rhetorical question and a trope called irony. It goes, “who is going to praise you if you don’t praise yourself”. Your post could be a perfect illustration of a communicative situation where the use this saying is appropriate.

                    • larussophobe

                      You still haven’t name ANY other English language blog that is more successful than we are. Your statements are totally without substance and inane.

                    • Also, I apologize for the use of the word “childish”. I should have said “naive” in the most direct meaning of this term.

                  • Oops, sorry the statistics in question are provided here. http://www.gks.ru/bgd/regl/b10_12/IssWWW.exe/stg/d01/05-09.htm Please let me know if you need links to the UN and the World Bank sites quoting the same numbers.

                    • larussophobe

                      Again you are simply not paying attention. We were talking about the best and brightest leaving, not raw numbers.

                      The short-term phenomenon of Russians who are unwanted in non-Russian states following the breakup of the USSR will soon end. Then Russia’s population will begin to plummet even more dramatically.

                      Numerous studies have shown Russia is facing a massive shortfall in workers and military recruits, many of these have been published here on LR. You ignore all this, and don’t even try to paint a balanced picture, yet you advise us to do otherwise. That’s truly deranged.

                    • LR, no we started with raw numbers. Then, you changed the subject. And I actually agree with you on the subject. And the problem is not that the best and brightest leave. They will continue to do that until the moment when Russia becomes as affluent and free as, say the US or France. The problem is that many good and bright people say they want to leave. This suggests disappointment with the regime. Nothing to disagree with, finally.

                    • larussophobe

                      You are ABSOLUTELY WRONG. They are leaving not because Russia is not rich now, but because THEY DON’T BELIEVE RUSSIA WILL BECOME RICH IN THE FUTURE because of the current policies of the Kremlin, which are utterly misguided and totalitarian.

                      You are actualy giving young Russians far too little credit. They are patriotic and want to remain in Russia and see it become a success. They are willing to suffer for future success as are all patriots. But they do not believe Russia will have future sucess, because of the craven behavior of so many ordinary Russians and because of the evil behavior of the Kremlin.

                    • You have a real talent to start a post that does not contradict mine with “you are absolutely wrong”. I am really failing to find any contradiction between the two posts.

                    • larussophobe

                      You said Russians were leaving because of current conditions in Russia. They aren’t. They are leaving becuse of what they think the future will bring.

                    • I would say one does not exclude the other. I think the conditions will improve and I see them improving. I still left Russia because my skills allow me to enjoy all the benefits of living in a more affluent and developed country right now rather than in the future. By this virtue, there are (i) people who think the things will get better but want to leave because they want to live better now; (ii) people who think things will not get better, so they live as they see no other way to improve their life; (iii) people who think things will not get better and do not want to leave because they think that they personally are better off in Russia than they would be in a different country and (iv) people who think the things will get better, so they are prepared to wait. Sounds logical, doesn’t it?

                • Honey: As is the case with at least 997 out of 1000 Western imbeciles, your top priority concern is the prosepcts of US imperialism. Who the bugger do you think you’re kidding? Most definitely not the Russians, that’s for sure.

            • And yes, mortality increased slightly in 2010 compared to 2009 after falling continuously since the mid-2010s. At the same time, the birth rate increased resulting in a lower natural population decline.

    • Dimwitry,

      You lying jackass, why don’t you instead tell us all about the propaganda machine that your beloved KaGeBist Putin uses to spread his disinformation? And how he suppresses all truth about his mother Russia from his subject.

      For your naive information it’s called the “Mushroom Club” where you keep the people in the dark and feed them regular doses of B/S.

      Compared to him, Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr. J Goebbels was just a babe in the woods.

  5. @LR: “Can’t you find ANY foreign source confirming your bizarre claim?

    How can foreigners know raw Russian internal birth and death statistics? All Russian demographic data comes from Russia.

    I would comment on the intelligence level of your thinking but I am afraid that you will delete my post…

    • If you are illiterate you should not try to read this blog, much less comment on it.

      First of all, you offer no source to support YOUR claim that there is no demographic data from any other source. Such comments are banned on this blog, so you are violating our clearly published guidelines and acting like a crude thug.

      Second, we did not ASK for a SOURCE of data from outside Russia, we asked for a foreign analyst who said Russian data is reliable.

      Your stupidity and illiteracy is an embarrassment to this blog. Please close you fat stupid ignorant mouth. Your comments contribute absolutely no value, nothing other than your own worthless ignorant unsubstantiated opinion. Please stop making a fool of yourself, and of Russia.

      • LR, would the United Nations do? If you look up the mortality data on their site, you will find out it is exactly the same as on the Russian statistics agency side. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Excel-Data/population.htm

        As far as your statement that “no source to support YOUR claim that there is no demographic data from any other source”, it tantamounts to providing a proof that there are no unicorns. Just logically, what other agency on this or any other planet would have the authority, time and funding to collect all the birth records from all the maternity wards in Russia and all the death records from all the morgues, record the number and generate demographic statistics? I am sorry, this is just childish.

        • We’re not talking about somebody repeating Russian statistics like a bleeting goat, we are talking about somebody studying Russian stastics to conclude whether they are reliable. You need to learn how to pay attention.

          • No, you asked for “a SOURCE of data from outside Russia” and “a foreign analyst who said Russian data is reliable”. The UN is a SOURCE of data from OUTSIDE Russia and, using this data to predict changes in the global population, the UN’s analysts treat this data as reliable or, at least the best available.

            • Sir, you are braying jackass, and if you can’t comment in good faith then you will be banned from this blog. We have zero tolerance for liars and dissemblers like you.

              BUT NOW IT IS CLEAR. We want a foreign source who CONFIRMS THE ACCURACY of Russian mortality and birth statistics, not a foreigner who tells other foreigners what the Russians say these rates are.


              • LR, I wonder who is not commenting in good faith. I definitely take pride in doing everything I ever do in good faith, and you won’t be able to find any indication to the conrary on this blog or really elsewhere. If you want to ban me for no reason whatsoever, well, this is your blog after all. As an option, you can tell me you are not interested in discussing this topic with me anymore. Definitely, discussisions that are not in good faith are in no one’s interest.

                If, however, you are interested in continuing to dicuss the topic and do not object against my comments here, I suggest you should just re-read the thread above. Can you think of any practical way to confirm the accuracy of demographic information obtained through counting hundreds of thousands of birth and death certificates every year? Unless someone either (i) repeats the exercise; (ii) conducts a labor and resource-intensive statitstically meaningful sample review of the information provided by maternity wards and morgues to the Russian Statistics Committee (GKS) or (iii) does an independent audit of the GKS, he/she won’t be able to claim in good faith that he/she can make a well-grounded judgement about the GKS data. That is why, in the absence of evidence directly suggesting inaccuracy of such data, serious analysts, such as those at the United Nations and the World Bank, actually use the Russian State Statistics data. I believed you were genuinely requesting such confirmation as evidence of the fact that the GKS data is considered as acceptable and used for the purposes of vital analyses by the world’s most reputable agencies.

                • It’s quite easy for a scientist to review Russia’s data collection and opine regarding its accuracy. You’d know that if you had graduated the third grade.

                  Most thinking people know that a proud KGB spy like Putin can’t be trusted in regard to data about his regime’s performance. Your inclination to take him at his word is simply idiotic and makes us dismiss you as a propagandizing crank.

                  • What do you mean by “review Russia’s data collection”? It is unpractical for a scientist to review several hundred thousands of birth and death certificate. A scientist cannot practically count the number of people in Russia and compare the number to the records. What an independent scientist could do is either to opine on GKS’ data review, collection and management processes and opine on those or to test, based on a sample of raw data (the death and birth certificates) and make sure that those were properly included in the final report. I have never seen any documented criticisms with respect to the above. Maybe, if this is something they teach in the third grade wherever you studied, you could enlighten the readers about other practical ways for an independent scientist to “review Russia’s data collection”.

                    Your second premise is exactly what we debated when you accused me — undeservedly — of debating not in good faith. The whole point of my pointing out that the UN and the World Bank use this data for their analyses suggests that most experts actually find this data usable. In any case, if you have made up your mind that the Russian statistics cannot be trusted, it is pretty foolishly of me to make any reasonable arguments here. The answer will always be “I am not listenting — I just know you cannot trust the figures, so I don’t trust them”. I guess, we should agree to disagree.

                    • AT, I know you are not too smart, but the Russian government lies about everything.

                      Take crime statistics for example:

                      Russia’s top prosecutor says crime figures fiddled on vast scale

                      A probe last year into the authenticity of Russia’s crime statistics found “mass falsification” of figures across the country, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika says in a report made public on Thursday.
                      The probe, carried out by the Prosecutor General’s Office, found falsified statistics in all 80 regions investigated, according to the report, which was submitted to the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.
                      The report says prosecutors discovered “mass falsification of primary records” and “egregious cases of distortion of statistical reporting.” Chaika accused law enforcement agencies of seeking to “embellish the real crime picture” and show that crime clearance rates are higher than they really are.


                      It is nothing unusual for Russians. The Russian state (and culture) have a tradition of dishonesty and corruption stretching well back into the Tsarist period.

                      Take for example the problems with fake diplomas in Russia:

                      Are Fake Diplomas Destroying Russia’s Educational And Economic Credibility?


                      I suspect you paid for yours AT

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