“The mortality rate has risen steadily through Putin’s years in power (it is up nearly 15% since 2003), and the only thing Putin has been able to think of to deal with that reality is to bribe Russian parents to have more children.
“This classic Russian ‘solution’ is actually worse than the existing problem. People don’t want children, but they do want money. So they take the money, have the child — and then what happens? That child will be lucky to live to see his 18th birthday, and if he does he’ll certainly be impacted by the fact that the only reason he exists is because he got paid.”