Russian Federation
 
The Implications of Demographic Change For Russian Politics and Security
Harley Balzer

Both in Russia and abroad, much of the focus has been on the extent of the crisis and the potential size of Russia’s population in 2050. In a country where every month seems to bring a new “decisive political struggle,” timelines stretching over half a century are not likely to generate effective policy responses. By emphasizing the more
immediate social and political implications of these important issues, it may be possible to derive both a framework for understanding developments in Russian politics and some practical policy recommendations.

When we begin to discuss the implications of Russia’s population crisis, the temptation is almost always to provide a laundry list of serious problems. I have succumbed to this practice myself (Balzer 2002; 2003). But, like the half-century timelines, extensive lists tend to overwhelm audiences and policy-makers. Rather than stimulating action, they can produce a feeling of being overwhelmed and a belief that if things are that bad, there must be some mechanism of self-correction that enables human societies to survive. Since it is not possible to do everything, why not do nothing? There is an urgent need for focus and priorities.                      continue reading  # 
 
 
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Demographic/Health Problems in the Russian Federation: Trends, Dimensions, Implications
Nicholas Eberstadt

Russia’s population trends and demographic characteristics are altering the realm of the possible for the country and its people—continuously, directly and adversely. Russian social conditions, economic potential, military power, and international influence are all subject to negative demographic constraints today—and these constraints stand only to worsen over the years immediately ahead.

Russia is entered upon a steep demographic decline—a peacetime population hemorrhage framed by a collapse of the birth rate and a catastrophic surge in thedeath rate. The forces that have shaped the path of depopulation and debilitation down which Russia now slides are powerful ones, by now deeply rooted in Russian soil.

Altering Russia’s demographic trajectory would be a formidable task under any circumstances. As yet, unfortunately, neither Russia’s political leadership nor the voting public that sustains it have really even begun to face up to the enormous magnitude of the country’s demographic challenges.


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Siberia: Russia's Economic Heartland and Daunting Dilemma
Fiona Hill

Siberia has loomed large in perceptions about Russia's place in the world. Throughout Russia's modern history, Siberia's size—it encompasses more than three-quarters of Russia's total territory—and its geostrategic position astride the Eurasian landmass have contributed significantly to Russia itself. And the exploration and development of Siberia have helped shape Russian national identity. Siberia has been seen as Russia's "treasure chest," the source of new wealth, new territory, and folk traditions that evolved alongside the unique cultures of Siberia's indigenous peoples. Russian writers have extolled Siberia as the "untamed frontier" and a "New World" savior for the rest of Russia. As late as the 1980s, a statement attributed to Mikhail Lomonosov, the great Russian scholar of the eighteenth century—"Russia's power will grow with Siberia"—adorned the walls of Russia's science classrooms.

Siberia, as the primary repository of Russia's massive natural resource base, has played a vital role in underpinning the Russian economy. Furs from the forestlands across the Ural Mountains and Siberia, along with salt and minerals, bolstered the economy of Muscovy and the early Russian empire from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Siberia's mineral resources fueled the industrialization of the Russian empire in the nineteenth century and the development of Soviet industry after the 1917 revolution. West Siberian oil became the mainstay of the late Soviet economy from the 1960s, and it remains the backbone of the Russian economy today.
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HIV/AIDS, TB AND CO-INFECTIONS IN RUSSIA 

MURRAY FESHBACH And CRISTINA M. GALVIN

Executive Summary


The principal task of this effort is to track and analyze Russian statistics on HIV/AIDS and related illnesses and to select the best set among these data. The report, therefore, arrays the multitudinous variety of information from internal Russian official and unofficial sources, as well as international agencies and institutions. In addition, some important figures that had never been estimated previously had to be calculated. One result of this effort, therefore, is that the Russian report is much longer than the separately issued report on Ukraine; the latter report is more straightforward, but also subject to a variety of internal tests to determine which is the best set of numbers. In both reports, the quality of the statistics leaves much to be desired in order to be at the international standard and comparable to statistics for other countries worldwide.

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Russian Demographics
by Doug Merrill

Just wanted to add a small note to Edward’s ongoing demographic discussion. Lance Knobel quotes Murray Feshbach, an honest to goodness expert on Russian demography.                              continue reading
 
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Population Trends Russia
Ward Kingcade  US Bureau of Census


While recent Russian demographic trends reflect the country’s current economic and social malaise, they also continue to reveal the shocks experienced by Russia’s population earlier in this century. Russia’s fertility has been falling sharply since the breakup of the USSR: Russia’s 1993 total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.4 ranks among the lowest in Europe. Despite this, access to modern contraceptive methods remains difficult.

In 1992 Russia’s population passed a demographic milestone, experiencing more deaths than births. Although attention is often given
to the increased mortality among adult men, mortality has also risen
for women and infants.
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Health and Demography in the States of the Former Soviet Union
Conference Held at the  Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
April 29-30, 2005

See Conference Programme