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In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen feeding a horse  in the mountains of the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva),  Russia, during his short vacation. (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Alexei Drizhinin, Pool) In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen feeding a horse in the mountains of the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), Russia, during his short vacation. (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Alexei Drizhinin, Pool)  

Author: As much as 2 percent of Russia’s potential population aborted every year

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Foreign policy expert Ilan Berman says Russia is falling apart — and that could bode ill for the United States.

“The scale of social and cultural rot in contemporary Russian society is truly staggering,” Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and editor of the Journal of International Security Affairs, told The Daily Caller in an email interview about his new book, “Implosion: The End of Russia and What it Means for America,” to be released Monday.

“Take abortion, for instance. According to official estimates, almost 1.2 million abortions are performed in Russia every year. That equals out to 300 babies every hour. According to unofficial projections, however, the true abortion rate could be as much as double that figure — which means that close to 2 percent of Russia’s potential population is being terminated every year!”

“Equally grim statistics can be found in the state of national health, in its alcoholism and drug addiction rates, and in its failing struggle to contain HIV/AIDS,” he continued. “It’s no wonder that one in five Russians now wants to live abroad — and almost half of Russians between the ages of 18 and 35 are actively considering doing so. Russia, simply put, is a dying project — and the Russians themselves know it.”

But the cultural rot is only part of Russia’s problem, Berman says. He says the country is imploding because its “population is constricting by close to half-a-million people every year as a result of both death and emigration;” because its population is “transforming” in that its “radicalizing” Muslim minority “isn’t facing the same demographic stressors as its Slavic majority is;” and because of the ”challenge from China.”

“By themselves, each of these trends would be deeply concerning,” Berman said. “Taken together, they have the power to spell the end of the Russian state as we know it.”

According to Berman, Russia’s collapse threatens the “U.S. on a number of fronts.”

“The ascendance of radical Islam among Russia’s growing Muslim minority is especially troubling, because it has the potential to spill over to threaten the West,” he said. “As important is the re-emergence of a ‘neo-imperial’ impulse in Moscow driven by both ideology and demographics, because it suggests that Russia will act more and more aggressively toward its neighbors, raising the specter of war and authoritarianism throughout Eurasia in the process.”

Asked about the recent Russian proposal to help secure Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons in order to reduce tensions between the U.S. and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, Berman said, “Russia’s proposal is certainly opportunely timed, and allows the Obama administration to save political face while walking back from a military option that’s deeply unpopular at home.”

“But it isn’t the product of U.S. military threats,” he continued. “Rather, it’s the result of Russia’s own strategic interests. Russia has worked diligently to keep the regime of Bashar al-Assad in power, both because it is a major client and because Syria houses Russia’s Mediterranean flotilla. If it is adopted, the proposal put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin accomplishes those goals – and simultaneously allows the Kremlin to outmaneuver the White House on the world stage.”

See below TheDC’s full interview with Berman on his book, Vladimir Putin and much more:

Before we talk about the book, what do you make of the deal currently floated by Vladimir Putin to solve the U.S.-Syrian impasse? The White House and its allies are suggesting the potential deal is the result of the president’s “credible” threat to strike the country? What do you think and what are your impressions of Putin’s strategic thinking in Syria?

Russia’s proposal is certainly opportunely timed, and allows the Obama administration to save political face while walking back from a military option that’s deeply unpopular at home. But it isn’t the product of U.S. military threats. Rather, it’s the result of Russia’s own strategic interests. Russia has worked diligently to keep the regime of Bashar al-Assad in power, both because it is a major client and because Syria houses Russia’s Mediterranean flotilla. If it is adopted, the proposal put forward by Russian president Vladimir Putin accomplishes those goals – and simultaneously allows the Kremlin to outmaneuver the White House on the world stage.