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Russia revives 'Mother Heroine' award as its Ukraine casualties mount

Russian President Vladimir Putin revived the "Mother Heroine" award for women having 10 or more children as Russia's Ukraine casualties mount. Photo by Iranian Presidential Office/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/f0f8a7b1f5742d0b83dc03b3518b98c0/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Russian President Vladimir Putin revived the "Mother Heroine" award for women having 10 or more children as Russia's Ukraine casualties mount. Photo by Iranian Presidential Office/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin is reviving a Soviet-era "Mother Heroine" award for mothers who have 10 or more children. It comes as reports suggest Russia is having trouble recruiting troops to replace those killed and wounded in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Putin's decree will award the title and $16,645 (1 million rubles) to women who have and raise "10 Russian citizens." The Aug. 15 decree said the title "Mother Heroine" is the highest degree of distinction for women who have given birth and raised 10 or more children.

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A badge will come with the award and the decree specifies it is to be worn on the left side of the chest above other state awards of the Russian Federation.

The honor was created by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin after World War II at a time when the war-ravaged country's population had plunged by tens of millions of people.

According to British intelligence, Russia has likely lost a third of the troops it sent to attack Ukraine.

According to World Bank estimates based on United Nations population data, Russia's population of 15- to 64-year-olds as a percentage of the overall population has declined since 2010.

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The Russian population declined by an average of 86,000 people a month between January and May, according to The Federal Service for State Statistics (Rosstat). The statistics show Russia's population decline has nearly doubled since 2021 and nearly tripled since 2020, shrinking from 146 million people to 145.3 million.

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