Staunton, June 18 – A commentary intended to show that Russia is not in imminent danger of withering away because the number of births among its population are almost as large as the number of deaths unintentionally shows how large the number of those dying prematurely from unnatural causes in fact is and why Russian life expectancy isn’t going up.
Svobodnaya pressa commentator Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak suggests that media articles suggesting that Russia is “withering away” are “strongly exaggerated,” but then he himself offers a devastating set of official statistics about premature deaths that cast doubt on his own argument (svpressa.ru/blogs/article/174812/).
Among the figures he gives for premature deaths every year are the following:
· 400,000 deaths from excessive use of tobacco.
· 500,000 deaths from excessive use of alcohol.
· 180,000 deaths from industrial accidents.
· 126,000 deaths from abuse of drugs.
· 45,000 murders.
· 35,000 deaths from road accidents.
· 20,000 deaths from fires.
· 50,000 deaths from medical mistakes.
· 60,000 suicides.
· 15,000 deaths from drowning.
· 10,000 deaths from intra-family violence.
That results, he says, in a total of “more than 1,440,000” premature deaths from what statisticians call “’unnatural causes.’” In addition, there are some 960,000 deaths each year from heart disease, 300,000 from cancer, up to 80,000 deaths from early childhood diseases and birth defects, as well as more from simple old age.
As of now, Sinelnikov-Orishak says, Russian women are giving birth to almost enough children that the decline in the country’s population is gradual but not immediately threatening. However, what he does not say, is that the burden of these premature deaths means that Russia will have an extremely difficult time increasing life expectancies.
And that in turn represents an indictment on its socio-political system because Russia today now ranks approximately 100th among the countries of the world on that important measure (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5943783D1D80E).
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