WASHINGTON — As with China, Russia’s population is dwindling much faster than anticipated. Now, the country is set to close over 700 schools before the start of the new academic school year.
Reuters reports that Russia’s top health official, Surgeon General Gennady Onishchenko, told Interfax (which is a news agency) that 733 schools will be closed for the coming year.
One of the worst parts is that 466 of the 733 schools to be closed are located in Russia’s central heartland. It is a concerning trend as Russian President Vladimir Putin is cracking down on Islamist insurgents in the troubled Caucasus regions of Chechnya and Dagestan, pushing Russian nationalism to the forefront.
Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and continues to champion itself and defy the U.S. by offering asylum to National Security Agency (NSA) leaker and American citizen Edward Snowden.
The Reuters article also said that the 2010 census showed that Russia’s population fell by 3.4 million people over the past decade, even with an economic boom from 2000-2008.
China is facing the same situation after their longtime “one-child” policy since the days of Mao Zedong in the 1970s. But the rest of the world is facing the same situation, so this could be a worldwide crisis soon enough.