As of October 1, 2003, Russia had 144.3 million of permanent population. The population has decreased by 623,000, or 0.4%, since the year's start, according to Goskomstat, or Russia's state statistics committee.
The population decline was due to the natural loss, which dropped by 31,500 in the January-September period of 2003 against the same period in 2002. Migration flows have gone down and made up for the natural loss by only 4.4%.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky fears that his country may split into two similarly to the Korean scenario.