Staunton, June 10 – If current trends continue, Yury Krupnov says, Russians will be condemned to “disappear from history” with the population of their country declining to only 50 percent of what it is today by the end of this century and changing in its ethnic composition to the point where it will not be Russia anymore.
The demographer from the Moscow Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development tells Kazan’s Business-Gazeta that super-high mortality among Russian men, declining birthrates overall, and migration patterns both within the country and with its neighbors are working against Russia (business-gazeta.ru/article/385156).
Moreover, “even if the country is preserved and will exist until the end of the century [in something like its current borders], it will be an entirely different country,” Krupnov says, one in which the titular nationality of today will not be the dominant nation then.
To prevent that from happening, he says, policies need to be put in place to boost the number of families having three or more children from the current six percent to 50 percent,” an increase of seven to eight times that will require both “a cultural revolution” and “an economic revolution” as well.
That challenge is enormous, he acknowledges, but says that “this is what must be done: otherwise we will simply die out.” Moscow must pursue this goal rather that making GDP a goal in itself.
Krupnov made five other intriguing comments:
· “Russians voted not for Putin but for Russian statehood” because Russians are among the few nations that are so state-centered that they recognize that they can lose almost anything else but that if they lose the state, they will lose everything.
· Russia must restore itself as a separate civilization; otherwise it will be riven by ethno-national conflicts that could tear it apart just as they did the USSR a generation ago. “It isn’t difficult to destroy a state, but then nothing will remain.”
· The flight from the countryside into the cities is undermining Russian national security. Instead of promoting urban agglomerations, Moscow must promote de-urbanization if the country is to survive.
o The Tatar ethnos is on the rise and is expanding rapidly because it is investing in people. “It is very sad that the entire country is not living according to the Tatarstan model. It must use this passionate energy.”
o Many expected Tatarstan to be the delayed action mine that would destroy the Russian Federation. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. “But the threat remains. If cases of ethnicization are not kept within strict limits, this can work both against Russian and in the final analysis against Tatarstan.”