Vladimir Putin Enlists Boyz II Men to Boost Russia’s Declining Birth Rate

Will Russians take Boyz II Men’s lyrics literally in a bid to lift the country’s population?

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The R&B band Boys II Men is scheduled to perform in Moscow on Feb. 6, ahead of St. Valentine's Day

Russia’s President has a solution to the country’s declining birth rate: the sweet soul stylings of Boyz II Men.

The ’90s R&B band is set to perform in Moscow on Feb. 6 and will “hopefully give Russian men some inspiration ahead of St. Valentine’s Day,” the Moscow Times wrote.

Vladimir Putin, known for being “the Russian guy who does things,” has been trying to increase Russia’s birth rate as the country’s population has fallen about 4% over the past 20 years, according to the Financial Times.

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Boyz II Men’s role in Putin’s “crusade to raise the country’s birth rate” was originally reported by the Moscow Times. But the British newspaper the Telegraph notes that it’s unclear whether Putin extended an invite to the singers of “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee” personally:

Whether or not the Russian kingpin personally got on the phone, tracked down their agent and demanded that they “do the show right here” is pure speculation on the newspaper’s part. It’s a little hard to believe… but it’s also not impossible to imagine.

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Putin has been vocal about Russia’s population issues. In December, he urged Russian families to have more children, saying, “It’s important that families make that step,” according to the Telegraph. “I am convinced that the norm in Russia should become a family with three children.” In the past decade, as Russia’s population decline started to level off, Putin proposed a “mother’s capital” policy which would pay women up to $10,000 to have a second child, according to the Financial Times.

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