She points out that the country's demography is characterized by below replacement fertility and higher than average mortality, leading to negative natural increase, partly compensated for by migration from former Soviet republics like Armenia, as I noted a couple of months ago. There is also a clear regional pattern to the shrinkage. There is still positive population growth in the southwest of Russia, between the Caspian and Black Seas, but it is declining almost everywhere else. And the decrease is showing up (so to speak) in the cities:
Russia appears to be the most shrinking urban system in the world, even though Germany and Japan are usually cited to illustrate studies on urban shrinkage at a national scale. Their share of shrinking cities is indeed high (respectively 46 and 58%, cf. tab. 2) but significantly lower than that of Russia (> 70%).Shrinkage is almost never popular in human societies, and so the demonstration of these widespread demographic changes taking place in Russia suggests that Putin is likely to continue aggravating the rest of the world to keep the Russian minds off what is happening at home. It is unlikely that anything good will come of this.