Staunton, Mar. 24 – Fifty-two percent of Russian men are dying before reaching the age of 65 when they could go on pensions, according to Oleg Apolikhin, a senior demographic specialist at the Russian Ministry of Health. Most of the deaths occur suddenly in the 40 to 65 age group – and less because of alcohol abuse than because of constant stress.
Combatting such stress levels and the deaths they entail requires the transformation of life in Russia, something to which the Putin regime is not committed. Instead, although Apolikhin doesn’t say so, that regime has only increased stress levels with its aggressive militarism (sovross.ru/2023/03/24/minzdrav-do-pensii-v-rossii-dozhivaet-menshe-poloviny-muzhchin/).
That pattern may not both the Kremlin because it means that the government will have to spend less on pensions, thus allowing it to spend more on favored projects such as conducting its war in Ukraine.
A second troubling demographic statistic about Russia also surfaced this week: a smaller percentage of Russians than of Belarusians have indoor toilets, a pattern that undercuts the widespread assumption that Belarus is backward and that may help to explain why Russian troops in Ukraine are notoriously stealing toilets there to take home (thinktanks.by/publication/2023/03/23/belarus-oboshla-rossiyu-po-chislu-tualetov-s-kanalizatsiey.html).