Russia’s idea to ‘free prisoners if they get pregnant’ to fix Putin’s problem

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    A leading Russian politician has been mocked by the country's state-run media after suggesting female prisoners who get pregnant and give birth should be released from jail.

    Valery Seleznev, a deputy in Russia's State Duma, proposed the bizarre measure in a bid to combat Vladimir Putin's population problem. Russia's population shrank by nearly one million between October 2020 and September 2021.

    Seleznev said there are about 45,000 women in Russian prisons, most of whom are serving time for non-serious offences. In translated quotes shared by Ukrainian politician Anton Gerashchenko, Seleznev went on: "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."

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    Russian state TV host Sergey Mardan slammed Seleznev's proposals. In a shocking clip translated by Russian Media Monitor, Mardan described the plans as a "conception vacation".

    "If it happened and she successfully conceived, after she gives birth, the woman would be freed," Mardan said. "What Valery Seleznev came up with is not coincidental. It's not some random act of stupidity. This is the fruit of a prolonged contemplation. He probably consulted with advisors and PR consultants."

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    Mardan went on to compare the proposals to Russia's current policy of freeing male prisoners if they agree to fight in Ukraine. He said: "Men who sign a contract with the Defence Ministry and join a Storm-Z unit redeem themselves with their blood. A woman redeems herself with her blood as well, in a way, since childbirth is accompanied by blood. God knows how Valery Seleznev came up with this.

    "When an old grey-haired man isn't afraid to be ridiculous and more than that, makes his living this way, it is not a very good phenomenon."

    The Kremlin has been attempting to combat the population problem with Ukrainian refugees. The International Criminal Court previously issued arrest warrants against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the federal Commissioner for Children's Rights, over the forcible movement of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children into Russian care.

    Mardan praised this approach in the past. He said earlier this year: "Look at how much the motherland is spending to solve the demographic problem… We got these people for free, for nothing – approximately five million of them!"

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    • Russia Ukraine war
    • Russia
    • Women
    • Pregnancy
    • babies
    • Vladimir Putin

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