Sunday, October 29, 2023

Russia’s Demographic Crisis Part of Its Civilizational One, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 26 – Russia’s demographic decline, one that has reached crisis proportions, is directly related to its civilizational crisis because traditionally Russia has relied on the growth of its population and often its territory to power its development, Vladimir Pastukhov says.

            “From the very beginning until today,” the London-based Russian analyst says, “Russian civilization has been and remains extensive, that is, it has been able to develop only through continuous and often territorial expansion which requires a constant and rapid growth in the population to guarantee” (

            Now that it is losing population, Pastukhov continues, Russia “can no longer develop in the same way,” not only in competition with other civilizations “but also because the quantitative and qualitative degradation of the titular ethnic group does not allow Russia to retain and develop in a normal fashion the territories it already has.

            Instead, Russians today are having “to live in ‘a de-energized country,” and “Russian civilization, because of this chronic energy deficit, is beginning to shrink. This recalls the evolution of a dying star: when the plasma energy runs out, first there is a sharp expansion (the Soviet empire) that is replaced by an equally sharp and catastrophic contraction (Russia now).”

            If that continues, to use this analogy, it is “most likely” that the result will be the transformation of Russia into ‘a red dwarf’ or even into ‘a black hole.’” The only way to avoid that is to find some new source of energy and restart the engine. Everything else is a vain attempt to deceive oneself and others,” however promising its short-term alternative tactics may be.

            “Subconsciously,” Russians realize how deep this crisis is and want salvation, Pastukhov says. But no one in the opposition is talking about this. Indeed, the only serious program, albeit a false one, is being offered by Putin. He suggests that the country can be rescued by engaging in war.

            Given that no one else is offering a serious answer to the question of “what will save Russia,” the Kremlin leader views his answer as “the only possible and correct one.” But of course, he is destroying Russia’s future by suggesting that the only way it can proceed is by turning back to the past.

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