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NIZHNY NOVGOROD—Russia is facing a dire demographic crisis, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The country’s dramatic natural population decline in the past six months—more than double the rate from the same time period last year—is so severe that it prompted President Vladimir Putin to come out with a rallying cry in support of larger families last week. “A strong family bringing up two, three, or four children,” he said, “should be the image of a future Russia.”

Realizing this goal will be a Herculean task, for many reasons. No matter how conservative the country is made out to be on state television, the States Statistic Service reports that as of 2020 73 percent of Russian marriages ended in divorce, with 48 percent divorcing before having children. But mainly the new national goal set out by Putin is hard to achieve because a significant number of…

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