Putin under pressure as pro-war Russian bloggers fear ‘demographic catastrophe’
Vladimir Putin is facing mounting pressure from pro-war Russian blogosphere who are becoming increasingly fixated on fears of a coming demographic collapse, according to a US-based thinktank.
The Institute for the Study of War has researched the output of Russian nationalist bloggers in response to official figures which project Russia’s population to fall to around 138 million people by the end of the year.
Russia’s ‘Statistics Service’ Rosstat has estimated the country’s population will shrink by 600,000 people per year between 2024-2032 though this rate will slow to 400,000 people per year from 2032-2046.
The figures have sparked panic among Russian nationalists with rhetic said to be increasingly aimed at ethnic minorities.
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The ISW situation update stated: “Several Russian commentators seized on these statistics and warned that they portend ‘demographic catastrophe’ if restorative measures are not undertaken immediately.
“One Russian source blamed Russia’s declining population on migrants and called for ethnic Russians to immediately increase the national birthrate, as well as to automate many production systems to replace migrant labour.
ISW has previously reported on instances of vocal Russian nationalist enclaves within the pro-war information space amplifying anti-migrant rhetoric to explain away and try to remedy reports of Russian demographic transitions.
“Such rhetoric is particularly noteworthy as the Russian force generation apparatus is increasingly exploiting migrant and other ethnic minority communities as a mobilization resource.”
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The think tank noted the one Telegram account has called on ethnic Russians to begin having larger families to reverse the demographic trends.
Another suggested solution was the adoption of automation in the workplace to replace migrant labour.
The Russian military meanwhile is understood to rely importantly on ethnic minorities for recruits.
Migrants in Russia mainly come from ethnic minorities in regions like Dagestan, Yakutia, and Buryatia.
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