More On: Putin
Researchers in the field of quantum computing experiment with additional qubits to explore their potential applications.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, is giving Russian mothers a huge cash bonus if they have 10 or more children. This is a Soviet-era incentive that Putin is bringing back as the country of 145 million people plans for the future.
In the Soviet Union, Communist dictator Joseph Stalin created the honorary Mother Heroine award, which also has social benefits. Russian media say that the first awards were given to about 400,000 citizens.
Putin's version of the prize will give people a one-time payment of 1 million rubles ($16,667 USD) after the first birthday of their 10th child.
The big bonus, which is more than the average Russian salary of about 750,000 rubles a year, will only be given to mothers if all of their other nine children have lived.
Kristin Roth-Ey, an expert on Slavonic and East European Studies, said that the "honour" was Putin's way of boosting the population and encouraging a certain kind of nationalism from the people, who have been dealing with the economic effects of his war with Ukraine for months.
“It was about service to the motherland,” she said via the Washington Post. “(It is) obviously a conscious echo of the Stalinist past.”
Roth-Ey said that Stalin's award was made because the Soviet Union was trying to "plan for postwar reconstruction" and help families, which were "the core institution of Soviet society" after World War II killed many millions of men of working age.
Putin said on Tuesday that Washington was trying to make the conflict in Ukraine last longer and was adding to conflicts in other parts of the world, like when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan.
“The situation in Ukraine shows that the US is trying to prolong this conflict. And they act in exactly the same way, fuelling the potential for conflict in Asia, Africa and Latin America,” Putin said in televised remarks, addressing the opening ceremony of a security conference in Moscow via videolink.
“The American adventure in relation to Taiwan is not just a trip of an individual irresponsible politician, but part of a purposeful, conscious US strategy to destabilise and make chaotic the situation in the region and the world,” he added.
He said the visit was a “brazen demonstration of disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries and for its (Washington’s) international obligations”.
“We see this as a carefully planned provocation,” Putin said.
Since Russia sent troops into pro-Western Ukraine at the end of February, relations between Moscow and Washington have been bad.
Putin has been hurt by a lot of new sanctions from the West, so he has tried to strengthen ties with countries in Africa and Asia, especially China.
During Pelosi's trip to self-ruled, democratic Taiwan in August, which China considers to be its territory and a key ally, China, Moscow showed full support for China.
This week, a leaked document showed that a high-ranking Kremlin official had tried to get the West to stop Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This comes as the conflict in the area has been going on for six months.
“A representative of Putin’s inner-circle sent a signal to the West about the desire to negotiate. The mood of the Kremlin elite is panic,” the document, obtained by journalists in Europe, said.
The unnamed Kremlin insider was partly named in the document, which was sent to Western intelligence officials, as "one of the pillars of the regime."
They may have used a Western diplomat or a CIA officer to get in touch.
Reports say that people close to Putin are getting more and more worried about the Russian economy as a result of the West's crippling sanctions.
There is also a lot of worry about how things are getting worse at the Zaporizhzhia power plant. Analysts and government officials have said many times that if fighting continues near the reactors, it will turn into a "nuclear disaster."
"It is urgent to let the International Atomic Energy Agency inspect and make sure all Russian forces leave," said Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, on Wednesday.
Stoltenberg added that the fact that the Russian military controls the facility puts the people of Ukraine, neighboring countries, and the rest of the world in danger.
"Russian troops now use the ground around the nuclear power plant as a staging area or a platform to launch artillery attacks on Ukrainian forces. This is reckless and irresponsible." Stoltenberg said these things at separate news conferences with the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo on Wednesday.
Soon after invading Ukraine in March, Russian forces took over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country.
The plant is the biggest one in Europe. Fears of a nuclear accident like the one that happened at Chernobyl in 1986, when a reactor blew up, have grown as the war rages on.