Preface: I come from part of the world that is steeped in history and that history be it good or bad may drive the politics of today. That world is Soviet Union, or rather was. I was born in Kyrgyzstan one of the republics that constituted the “great” last true colonial empire of the Eurasian steppe. As the old saying goes Demographics is destiny.
When the Soviet Union collapsed into 15 different republics, Russia population stood at 148 million people in 1991 and now in the year of 2022 the population of Russia is about 146 million people and that is despite the immigration into Russia and all the incentives of the Kremlin to boost that number. Population is stagnant and is getting older and the demographic pyramid of Russia looks like a dried Christmas tree rather than a true pyramid. Putin always said that demographics is one of the things that keeps him at night and I am not exaggerating. This types of statements have been said by Putin on numerous times. He always said that there are millions of “Russians” (Russians and Russian speakers) outside of Russia that have been unjustly separated by history and he seeks to correct that mistake. Demographics drives him.
Putin is the leader of Russia that was born right after the WW2, his own father fought in the war. He knows acutely that it was this war that shapes modern Russia. The main holiday 9th of May is a testament to that with all of the pomp and the military parade (not many people know this but military never marched on the 9th of May during the Soviet Union, they marched on October 7 the day of Russian Revolution). He sees the sacrifice of the Soviets and demographic echo that still reverberates in Russia as a great motive to undo the damage of the WW2 that is still being felt. Putin as an amateur of history knows that demographics to him is destiny, and to rule an empire he thus needs more people. 146 million is not enough, and that is why needs Belarus and the crown jewel Ukraine. The events of today and important aspects of politics of Putin can be explained by the below data visualization.