According to Ella Libanova, a Ukrainian Academy of Sciences academician and the director of the Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies, a significant decline in birth rates is predicted for Ukraine in 2023.
She also voiced that it is likely that the population of the country will decrease to 35 million or less by 2030.
The UN’s World Population Prospects report from 2019 reveals that Russia was projected to have 14.25 million men aged 20-34 in 2020. However, by 2050, the median estimate predicts that number will decrease to 12.91 million, resulting in a nine percent decrease in the potential recruiting pool for the military. This decrease will make recruitment efforts more difficult.
However, the real crisis is even closer, as the number of eligible male recruits is projected to decrease by 20 percent during the 2020s, with a projected 11.55 million in 2025 and 11.23 million in 2030.
Given the projected decline in the population of men aged 20-34 by 2030, Russia would need to significantly increase its militarization rate to maintain a military of 900,000. The projected militarization rate for 2025 is 7.79 percent and 8.01 percent for 2030. These numbers may not mean much on their own, but when compared to other countries, they paint a clear picture of just how militarized Russian society already is.
In comparison, other major powers have much lower militarization rates. The United States has a rate of 3.86 percent, France 3.62 percent, Turkey 3.58 percent, Italy 3.52 percent, Japan 2.54 percent, Pakistan 2.24 percent, United Kingdom 2.21 percent, China 1.24 percent, and India 0.77 percent. Even among Russia’s neighbors, the militarization rate is much lower, with Ukraine at 4.82 percent, Romania at 3.80 percent, and Poland at 3.16 percent.
This data suggests that Russia is already close to reaching its maximum capacity for militarization, making it difficult for the country to increase recruitment in the near term when compared to other major powers.
As the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine persists, there is a growing possibility that both countries’ populations may face the prospect of total collapse.
In light of this, analysts predict that Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce another round of mobilization in an effort to bolster Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine, according to CNBC.
An analyst from the Institute for the Study of War says this announcement could come as early as January 18th.
Additionally, Ukrainian military intelligence has stated that they do not rule out the possibility of Russia announcing another wave of mobilization in the coming days, with the aim of calling up an additional 500,000 Russian citizens to create strategic reserves.
This raises questions about the end goal of all of this fighting. It is clear that the loss of so many lives over a territorial dispute is not justified.