Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a "Mother Heroine" award of Rs 13 lakh to women who bear 10 children. The announcement comes amid a decline in Russia's population while its military suffers heavy losses in Ukraine.
The award is designed to encourage women to have more kids to repopulate the country, The Moscow Times reported. The "Mother Heroine" award was first introduced by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1944 during the tailend of World War II, when the Soviet Union lost an estimated 26 million people.
According to The Moscow Times, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday declaring that the title of "Mother Heroine" be awarded to women who give birth to 10 children or more. The women will also be awarded one million rubles (roughly Rs 13 lakh) after their tenth child turns one.
The mothers would still qualify for the award if they lose any of their kids in battle or as a result of a terrorist activity or emergency situation.Read more: Blood-red Vladimir Putin statue in New York’s Central Park to denounce ‘absurdity of war’
The country's population shrank by a record average of 86,000 people a month between January and May, the publication stated using data from state statistics agency Rosstat.
The rate of the country's population decline has almost doubled since 2021 and nearly tripled since 2020, the publication stated adding that the Covid pandemic led to the largest population decline since the end of the Soviet Union in 2021.