Demographic experts say Russia’s steep population decline could have serious consequences for the economy.
«The numbers are frightening,» says Sergei Zakharov, from the Institute of Demography at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics.
By 2050, Russia’s population could shrink from the current figure of 142 million people to 100 million, according to a United Nations sponsored study published last year.
When BBC Brasil travelled to Russia as part of its series looking at where the BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will be in 2020 it found that the picture for Russia’s population was bleak.
One young mother who spoke to the BBC was Tina Larionova. She had two children and has thought of having more, but she believes that mothers are not respected in Russia.
As a woman who had had a successful career, she says she feels that mothers are discriminated against when they go back to work and that Russian companies feel that working mothers are a burden and are difficult to accommodate.
She also said that a hangover of the Soviet era is the custom that women only had one child, and that that thinking affected how women behave today.