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Putin Adores Huge, Traditional Families and He's Not Afraid to Show It

Let Western media label these photos as "creepy" as the wish; we find Putin's personal interest in traditional families--and the families themselves--downright charming. What do you think?

Putin loves taking photos with big loud families. Maybe because, in his eyes, they are the main heralds of the Russia he envisions: a flourishing, colourful country built upon traditional family values.

Parents who raise seven or more children (biological or adopted) qualify for an illustrious Order of Parental, which includes a dinner and meeting with the president himself. 

At this year’s ceremony, Putin made clear that he understands and appreciates the incredible sacrifice and work involved in creating large, happy families. He stated:

“You have chosen (I am speaking to the parents first of all) a happy, noble, but also a very difficult path of great responsibility and worry that demands all of your efforts, patience and strength.”

Wired ran an article featuring the photos the Russian president with the winners of the Order of Parental glory, portraying the whole thing in mocking and negative tones. "Menacing Russian children" and "Flat, stiff, staring, vaguely hangry" are just some of the flattering expressions used to describe the people portrayed in the photos. 

But let Western media label these photos as "creepy" as they wish; we find Putin's personal interest in traditional families--and the families themselves--downright charming. So here they are:

Raising birthrates and making Russia family friendly has certainly been on Putin's top priorities list. Not only is the country facing severe demographic decline, but the anti-family policies of the Soviet Union (such as legalization of abortion), as well as the onslaught of Western propaganda in the 1990s, have taken a dramatic toll on Russia's traditional, conservative family order. 

In an attempt to reverse the process, many policies have been introduced. Families with two or more kids are offered government-subsidized mortgage interest rates and those in difficult economic circumstances receive a substantial financial stipend, as well as financial support for other child rearing-related expenses. The country holds multiple "Family of the Year competitions" yearly and generally, the social approach to large families is increasingly positive.