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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suicide Among Youths Has Risen Substantially

Young life has become the biggest casualty of the economic and political chaos rippling through Russia.


Suicides jumped 18 percent in 1992 while the overall population rate plunged for the first time since World War II, according to the State Statistics Department.


Those most inclined to take their own lives are teenage boys and girl's between the ages of 15 and 19, said Boris Brui, a demographics consultant for the state statistics department.


Teenage suicides jumped 1. 6 times from 1991 to 1992, he added.


The rise in suicides are "a reflection of the crisis of our society, that lots of people consider their lives to be a failure", Izvestia commented Tuesday while reporting the statistics.


"If the mortality rate remains at the same level in the near future, one out of three 16-year-old boys will not live to see his sixtieth birthday", the paper said.


The state committee has linked the rise of suicides among teenagers with an increase in drug and alcohol use. Among 100, 000 15 to 17 year olds, 19 teens are alcoholics and 40 are drug users, Izvestia reported.


The destitution of Russian youth is also manifested in other ways. A The Moscow Times investigation last year revealed that the numbers of homeless youth in Moscow alone jumped to 100, 000, while the number of youth in the city's holding center for runaways more than doubled within the past year.


Last fall, the Russian newspaper Argumenty I Fakty reported even more alarming statistics. According to the newspaper, the number of infants killed by their parents is also steadily increasing, and that 2, 000 infants were reported to have been killed by their parents in the past five years. This report coincided with other newspaper reports about parental abuse, including a young couple who advertised to trade their child for a larger apartment.


The jump in suicides comes after six years of a steady decrease in suicides that Korolov said is traced to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign.


While suicides in Russia were as high as 44, 562 in 1985, they had dropped to 39, 388 in 1991, only to jump to 45, 909 the following year, said Igor Korolov, a spokesman of the State Statistics Department.


In Moscow, suicides jumped from 1, 285 in 1986 to 1, 691. Already in January of this year, 143 people committed suicide in Moscow, according to a spokeswoman at the city's statistics department.


About 80 percent of all suicides are men, while 19 percent are pensioners, Brui added.


The jump in suicides is combined with a 40, 000 drop in the overall population from 1992 to 1993, that stems from a rise in the infant mortality rate and an increase in industrial accidents, Brui said.


At the same time, he added, murders have doubled in the past six years, from an average of 8 for every 100, 000 people to an average of 15 per 100, 000 people.


The number of Russian babies born with illnesses has also doubled from one out of every ten children in 1985 to one out of every five in 1992, according to the statistics department.