Magazine
Latest Issue

Dead souls

Russia is in the midst of a demographic crisis. Life expectancy for men is falling precipitately and is now below the level it reached under Stalin. Andrew Cowley examines the reasons

By Andrew Cowley   October 1995

The rumours about President Boris Yeltsin’s health, or lack of it, which seep out of the Kremlin and keep Russia’s political classes chattering, miss a bigger point. By the standards of his countrymen, Yeltsin is an old man. At 64, he has lived six years beyond the average life expectancy for Russian men. Most Russian males alive today will be lucky if they live long enough to receive a pension.

Between 1987 and 1994, the number of live births recorded in Russia halved, while the number of deaths soared. In 1993, 322,000 more Russians died than in 1992. That is…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect