On July 8, 1944, the order of Mother-Heroine was instituted for women who raised over ten children. This was done in order to fight the dropping birthrate amid WWII.
The award was backed up by child support, a dowry for the newborns, and extra supplies of food. From 1944 till 1991, about 500,000 women received the award.
The first woman to receive the award was Anna Aleksakhina, a peasant living in a shack in one of the Moscow region villages, and a mother of 12 children.
One of the measures inducing the large family paradigm was the so-called sterility tax (“balls tax”). The tax was imposed on bachelors aged 20-50 and married women aged 20-45, requiring them to pay 6% of their salary to the state if they didn’t have children. Smart or crazy?
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the population of Russia shrank by up to 700,000 a year. Between 1992 and 2009, the country lost about six million people, or four percent of its population…
During the presidential-election campaign in 2012, Putin expressed his concern for the country’s future:
“We are facing the risk of turning into an “empty space”, whose fate will not be decided by us.”
There was one simple solution: to make more children!
Thus, since 2007, extra money has been given to parents on the birth of their second and third children. In 2008, a special prize was established – the Order of Parental Glory.
Today, parents with seven or more children (biological or adopted) are invited to the Kremlin and receive the medal from the President himself.
Here are some of Russia’s super families: