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Divorce boom hits Moscow

Date: 2007-01-12

Moscow saw a 4% rise in the divorce rate last year, with more than 45,000 couples deciding to untie the marriage knot, a senior official with the capital's registry office said Friday.

"That is an amazing figure," Tatiana Ushakova told RIA Novosti. "We have not registered so many divorces in at least five years."

She said Moscow experienced a slight increase in marriages, while marriages with foreigners became less popular.

"Men from 93 countries arrived in Moscow last years to marry local women," Ushakova said.

She added that most foreign marriages involved citizens of Turkey, Germany, the United States, Britain and former Yugoslavia.

Ushakova said the birth rate in the Russian capital grew in 2006 despite the rise in divorces. She said the birth rate increased by 1,780 newborns as compared to 2005.

Last year, President Putin highlighted the demographic crisis afflicting Russia in his May state of the nation address, proposing radical new measures to deal with the falling birthrate and a population decline of some 700,000 a year.

On December 31, 2006, he signed into law additional measures in support of families with children, by which they will receive 250,000 rubles (some $9,400) for the birth of every additional child after the first.

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