Speaking via video link at the World Russian People’s Council, a meeting led by the head of Russia’s Orthodox church Patriarch Kirill, on Tuesday, Putin pushed his pro-creation stance.
He said increasing the population would be “our goal for the coming decades”.
“Many of our peoples maintain the tradition of the family, where four, five, or more children are raised,” the president said.
“Recall that in Russian families our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had both seven and eight children.
“Let us preserve and revive these traditions. Having many children, a large family, should become a norm, a way of life for all the peoples of Russia.”
Putin failed to mention the impact his war in Ukraine has had on the Russian population since it began in February 2022.
The UK ministry of defence reported earlier in October that there have been around 300,000 Russian casualties in Ukraine, with up to 190,000 troops either killed or “permanently wounded”.
If including the temporarily wounded, meaning those who have recovered from their injuries and can return to the battlefield, the total number of Russian casualties is thought to be between 240,000 and 290,000.
However, the Kremlin has implied that this shortage has been resolved. In September 2023, 280,000 people had signed up a military service contract, according to deputy chair of the Russian security council, Dmitry Medvedev.
The war isn’t just causing problems on the frontline, though. Independent policy group Re:Russia claims an 820,000 to 920,000 Russians have fled their home country since the war began.
Moscow also ordered partial mobilisation from September 2022 in a plan to enlist an extra 300,000 reservists – but it ended up encouraging more people to flee.
The Ukraine war has also been eating into the workforce too, subsequently worsening an economic slowdown.
The Russian population was 146.4 million as of January 1 at the start of this year. That’s a drop from 1999′s population of 147.2 million, when Putin came into office.
The birth rate has been dropping ever since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
Since 2018, Russia has been offering financial incentives to any parents with more than one child.
However, French outlet Le Monde reported that data from Rosstat, Russia’s federal statistics service, claimed that these have shown minimal to no effect.
Putin himself has only publicly acknowledged that he has two children, both with his former wife.