Russian population decline largest ever recorded

In the past year, Russia had its most significant peacetime population decline of all time. 

Since last October, Russia's natural population has declined by 997,000, according to The Washington Post. The natural population is determined by the difference between the country's death rate and birth rate. 

"[The] overwhelming share of this decline is associated with an increase in mortality, which is also reflected in the dramatic drop in life expectancy that fell by about 4 years," Alexey Raksha wrote in a Facebook post about the change, per the Post. "In turn, an overwhelming share of this increase in mortality is due to Covid-19."

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The drop comes as Russia battles a brutal fourth wave of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the country recorded its highest daily COVID-19 death count, with 984 fatalities reported, an increase from Tuesday's high of 973 deaths

Despite a rising death toll and reports that 11 percent of the country's COVID-19 patients were in serious condition, the country has refused to lock down. 

Some Russian regions, however, have imposed vaccine mandates for people in certain industries like health care, education, retail and government. 

"Any measure that can encourage more people to get vaccinated is good because only vaccination saves from death," President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, previously said.

Data from Our World in Data showed that just over 30 percent of Russia was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.