Russian President Vladimir Putin has revived a Stalin-era award for mothers who have 10 children in a bid to revitalize the country’s declining population predominantly caused by the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
The award, dubbed Mother Heroine, was first proclaimed by Soviet political leader Joseph Stalin in 1944 to boost the population after the country’s sharp demographic decline due to the Second World War.
More than 400,000 women received the award before it was rendered non-functional following the fall of the USSR in 1991. Mother Heroine was an honorary title bestowed upon women for rearing a large family, and this time, women who meet a set of rules will be given a one-time payment of 1 million roubles (roughly $16,000). On top of the cash prize, the recipients of the title will reportedly be conferred with gold medals with Russian flags decorated on them, as well as the country’s coat of arms.
Putin signed a decree announcing the award Monday. It came a month after he first proposed reviving the title on Russia’s Children’s Day holiday on June 1, The Moscow Times reported.
Jenny Mathers, Russian politics and security expert, gave insights into the scheme during a Times Radio interview with British broadcaster Henry Bonsu. Mathers said that under Putin’s decree, a mother stands eligible for the award as soon as her 10th child reaches his first birthday, but on condition that her other nine children are still alive.—Agencies