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The Body Economic by Sanjay Basu, David Stuckler

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2

THE POST-COMMUNIST MORTALITY CRISIS

Ten million Russian men disappeared in the early 1990s.

The Russian Republic of the Soviet Union had more than 147 million residents. Its population had been growing at the same rate as the United Kingdom in 1990 and 1991, at about 0.3 percent per year. But in 1992, Russia’s population began to vanish. The United Nations had been tracking data on the populations of all nations, and when they noticed this drop, they contacted a team of researchers in Russia.1

The research team set out across the country to investigate. They saw signs that something was amiss when they reached the country’s mono-industrial settlements (mono-gorod)—towns set up by the Soviets to support its military and economy, where everything ...

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