Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Super-High Mortality Among Working-Age Russian Men, Not Pandemic, Explains Russia’s Declining Life Expectancy Figures

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 7 – Vladimir Putin and his regime have been only too pleased to blame falling life expectancy in the Russian Federation on the coronavirus pandemic. But the real cause, as Deputy  Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has said, is super-high mortality among working age men because of cardiovascular disease.

            And that rate, unmatched almost anywhere else on earth, is the direct result not of the coronavirus but of Putin’s healthcare optimization program which has reduced the availability of prophylactic care and treatment for the diseases now killing one third of the working age population (tass.ru/obschestvo/12312323 and newizv.ru/article/general/07-09-2021/kovid-ni-pri-chem-tatyana-golikova-ob-yasnila-prichiny-sverhvysokoy-smertnosti-v-strane).

            Golikova says that one in three of working age Russians now dies prematurely, that 80 percent of those who die during that age range of 18 to 65 are men, and that the most frequent cause of their deaths are cardiovascular diseases. Consequently, she says, these factors lie behind the low life expectancy in Russia compared to other countries.

            Three Russian observers connected the dots. Analyst Dmitry Malin says that it is obvious that what is killing Russians is not the pandemic but the complete collapse of the medical system in the country. Anatoly Nesmiyan who blogs under the screen name El Murid says that these new official figures call into question Putin’s earlier arguments for increasing the pension age.

            And political scientist Roman Alekhin says that Golikova has fully confirmed what experts have long known: the disastrous demographic situation Russia finds itself in is the direct result of Putin’s healthcare optimization program which has eliminated any chance for early and effective treatment of disease for most of the population.

            “Mortality from cardiovascular diseases is a failure above all,” he adds, “of prophylaxis and early diagnosis of illnesses and pathologies … and also the entire system of medical assistance” for those whose diseases or pathologies have gotten worse.

            “These figures are a real and seirous failure of the entire system of health care” in Russia, Alekhin says; and everyone must draw “serious conclusions” from them. If this situation continues, not only will Russia have no chance ever to reach the 500 million people Putin envisages but have no chance even to fulfill the much smaller plans of Sergey Shoygu to build new cities east of the Urals.

            There simply won’t be anyone to populate them, the political scientist suggests.

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