An aging and less Slavic Russia is a key factor behind war in Ukraine

The demography of Russia is one of the reasons for the war in Ukraine, writes Polish journalist and publicist Grzegorz Górny

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Grzegorz Górny
A child looks out a steamy bus window with drawings on it as civilians are evacuated from Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

One of the reasons for Russia’s invasion against Ukraine is the country’s demographic collapse, with population trends in the country proving to be unfavorable for the Russian economy.

According to Peter Drucker, the most prominent expert on management in the 20th century, the key to economic success in our century will not be technology, but demographics. He states that without a steady natural increase in population, economic power cannot be built. Without this factor, societies are getting older, becoming less mobile and creative, and instead are more burdened with healthcare and pension benefits.

It is worth reminding ourselves that the Soviet Union in the moment of its collapse in 1991 had about 290 million citizens. The United States had only 240 million at that time. Today, 143 million people live in Russia and 335 million in the United States. This data is not everything, as the inheritors of the Soviet empire have a much higher death rate due to suicides, alcoholism and unfortunate incidents. The average Russian lives 10 years shorter than the average Brit.

On top of that, owing to demographic trends in the federation, the number of Russians is decreasing, and the number of representatives of other nations, especially those with a Muslim majority, is rising. As a result, the Slavic population is at risk of being dominated by other nations. In that light, incorporating a large part of Ukraine would be a large injection of Slavic blood for Moscow.

This tactic is nothing new. During the war waged against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1654-1667, Tsar Alexis I abducted a quarter of the population of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, locating it in the depths of Russia, where, in time, it was “Russified.”

Similar methods are being put to use today on the occupied lands of Ukraine. Masses of local citizens are being treated with “passport treatment” or taken into Russia. Among them are many children separated from their parents. Authorities in Kyiv fear that Russia wants to create something similar to Janissaries out of these children — raised in orphanages of zealous followers of Muscovite imperialism. The Kremlin is also using the war to carry out ethnic cleansing, as it is using mainly young non-Slavic males from Dagestan, Bashkiria, and Buryatia as cannon fodder.

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