Only the return of some three millionethnic Russians from the "near abroad" has kept thefull dimensions of Russia’s demographic disaster hidden from publicview, Ostankino television reported July 16. Low birth rates,rising divorce and death rates, and the highest abortion ratesin the world–four million last year alone–are creating a situationwhich threatens the future of the Russian community, the stationsaid. Meanwhile, Russian radio reported July 16 that Yeltsin’smuch ballyhooed program "Children of Russia" that wasintended to help improve the lives of Russian youth has collapsedbecause of a shortage of funds. And Kuranty reported thatin 1994 the city of Moscow suffered a net loss in population of122,000–a clear indication of just how difficult life has becomefor Russians.
"A Hospital is Not a Restaurant."