Desperate Putin revives Soviet ‘Mother Heroine’ for women who have 10 kids as crisis hits

Putin says Russia 'ready to offer' allies 'modern types of weapons'

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The “Mother Heroine” award was an honorary title established in 1944, 22 years after the founding of the USSR. This continued to exist until the bloc itself fell in 1991.

But the Kremlin leader has this week signed a decree to revive the title.

Women who raise 10 or more children will now be awarded the title and given a one-time payment of one million rubles.

This equates to around £13,500.

The title is on the same stats level as high-ranking state orders like the Hero of Russia and Hero of Labour, according to the Moscow Times.

The paper added that this was reintroduced in an attempt to grapple with “a demographic crisis fuelled by plunging birth rates”.

Putin has called for “cardinal” measures to tackle his country’s demographic crisis.

His decree makes no mention of the ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine.

But some commentators have suggested there is a direct link between the conflict and the reviving of the title.

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This was first introduced by Joseph Stalin toward the end of the Second World War.

Kristin Roth-Ey, Associate Professor at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, told the Washington Post its revival was “obviously a conscious echo of the Stalinist past”.

She said: “The [Second World] war led to high anxiety about population loss.

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“It has resonances obviously with what is going on right now.”

Ms Roth-Ey added this was part of a “patriotic campaign” that has been ramping up in Moscow for some years.

Posters released during the Soviet era advertising the title showed a proud mother surrounded by 10 children.

Some of these can be seen in military garb.

A young boy at the front proudly holds up a model – likely military – aeroplane.

Dina Fainberg, the author of “Cold War Correspondents”, told the Washington Post the revival of the title was not necessarily linked to the conflict in Ukraine, given this is still not officially called a war.

She said: “Putin and his team took great care not to depict it as a war. If you start calling it a war, you undermine stability and make people panic.”

Ms Fainberg added the title was instead part of a “growing return of the patriarchal state”.

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