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Friday, June 23, 2006

Russia Going Extinct

ITAR-TASS reports that Russia lost a quarter of a million people from its population in the first third of this year, putting it on pace to lose 750,000 by the end of the year:

MOSCOW, June 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s population reduced by 247,700 to 142.5 million in January-April 2006, the Federal State Statistics Service said in its report on Thursday. Over this period, there were 466,100 births and 758,700 deaths, which is by 11,400 and 38,200 less respectively year-on-year. Natural depopulation, computed as the difference between deaths and births, made up 292,600 people as against 319,400 in 2005, Prime-Tass said. The number of marriages grew by 13,300 to 274,800, and of divorces – by 4,700 to 198,700.

One of the most overlooked facts by Russia watches is that all such statistics from the Kremlin are suspect. Far too little work is done by Western observers to analyze and verify Kremlin statistics, which are put forth by a clan of KGB spies who spent their whole lives learning how to lie and deceive. If Russia actually lost 1 million or more, would it be at all suprising to see the Kremlin massage the numbers downward? Hardly. But even at the rate of 750,000 per year, Russia will be an empty desert in less than two centuries or two very long human lifetimes.

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