The bizarre proposal was brought up during an interview (Picture: Getty)
A high-ranking Russian official has suggested a scheme to ‘free prisoners if they get pregnant’ to address Russia’s population problem.
Valery Seleznev, a deputy in the Duma, proposed the odd solution to help bring up Russia’s birth rate after its population shrank by one million in just a year.
He said of Russia’s some 45,000 female prisoners: ‘The highest goal and destiny of a woman is to create a family and give birth to children.
‘Many of these women are capable of giving birth to children. The state can offer them a kind of deal, in which a woman’s sentence is terminated and in case she gives birth during such a “vacation”, the rest of the term is cancelled.
‘We gave the opportunity to men, leaving prison early, to fight against the terrible enemy in the Northern Military District [military wing] based on the same principle of the highest atonement.
‘Why do we deprive women of the opportunity to atone? We don’t need women to give their lives to [the war].’
Valery Seleznev made the bizarre suggestion (Picture: Getty)
Russia is currently home to around 144million people – a drop from 148 million in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed.
But Seleznev’s remarks have sparked fierce opposition from within and outside of Russia.
Human rights campaigner Eva Merkacheva referred to the proposed plan as ‘insane’, and was infuriated that women were being pushed to find someone ‘like an animal, without love, affection and long-term prospects’.
She said: ‘It seems to me that the idea of releasing women who have committed minor crimes would be more correct. Help them socialise, and they themselves will find the person they love and start a family themselves.’
Another deputy in the Duma, Sultan Khamzaev, proposed offering financial incentives to women who want an abortion to give birth and let their babies be ‘raised by the state’.
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