Russia's population is shrinking by 500 thousand people each year, according to a statement by Russian Minister for Ethnic Affairs Vladimir Zorin on Thursday on Radio-1.
According to the minister, this figure is the result of two factors: the Russian population is falling by 750-800 thousand each year, but this is partly compensated for by the annual arrival of 350 thousand immigrants. However, the minister stressed that 'we shouldn't speak of the genocide of the Russian people' - the fall in the population affects all the nationalities of the former USSR. Zorin believes that the reason for the fall is the worsening of the social and economic situation since 1992. He also noted that the figures may be inaccurate, and that the true picture would become clear after the analysis of the results of the Russian Census.