Putin revives Stalin-era ‘Mother Heroine’ award for women with 10 children


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday that revived the Soviet-era “Mother Heroine” award for women with 10 or more children, in an apparent attempt to alleviate a demographic crisis in the country.

Originally, the honor was introduced by Joseph Stalin after World War II, when the Soviet population had fallen by tens of millions.

The award ceased with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Once it comes into existence again, a payment of 1 million rubles ($16,500) will be given to Russian mothers when their 10th child turns one, if all survive.

According to the latest Rosstat statistics published this summer, Russia’s population shrank by an average of 86,000 people per month between January and May, a record.

In addition, Russia is suffering heavy troop losses in Ukraine, but the true number of casualties has not been disclosed.

Meanwhile, an estimated 75,300 migrants left Russia. Some citizens are fleeing the country in light of the Ukrainian war and a domestic political crackdown, search data, immigration numbers and flight information.

For example, Google searches for the term “How to leave Russia?” in Russian reached a 10-year high domestically within a week of the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Russian interest in the topic “emigration” on Google also quadrupled between mid-February and early March. Searches around “travel visa” almost doubled, and for the Russian equivalent of “political asylum” they jumped more than five times.

For 30 days in March, Australia, Turkey and Israel were some of the top trending search destinations, along with Russia-friendly Serbia and Armenia, as well as Georgia – which was invaded by Russian troops in 2008.

In an attempt to alleviate the population crisis in the country, the Kremlin is also committed to promoting traditional values.

Putin has long been a proponent of increasing Russia’s birth rates by implementing policies that encourage large families through state financial assistance.

The President of Russia also often brings up the importance of having a family and traditional values ​​in his public speeches.

“Our historical responsibility is not only to get out of the demographic trap but also to ensure sustainable natural population growth in the middle of the coming decade,” Putin said in his 2020 annual speech.

Despite offering financial assistance to women with multiple children, the Russian state still has no laws protecting victims of domestic violence, with the Russian Orthodox Church arguing that such laws are against in traditional Russian values ​​and private family matters should remain private.