According to preliminary forecasts, the average number of citizenspermanently living in Russia was 144.5m in 2001 and 143.6m in 2002. Thisdata was reported by the Economic Development and Trade Ministry in theforecast on Russia's social and economic development in 2003 and the mainparameters for 2005. The report says that the tendency for a fall inpopulation will continue in the middle term. According to the forecast, thepopulation of Russia will amount to 142.9m people in 2003, 142.2m in 2004and 141.6m in 2005.The birthrate is expected to see a rise to 9.7 newborns per 1,000 people in2003, against 9.1 newborns in 2001 and 9.4 in 2002. Moreover, this rate isforecasted to surge to 10 newborns per 1,000 people in 2004 and 10.3newborns in 2005.Meanwhile, the situation with death statistics is stabilizing in thiscountry and the general death rate is expected to be at 15.4 people per1,000 throughout 2005 as compared to 15.6 people in 2001 and 15.4 in 2002.According to the ministry's forecast, the average life expectancy willsurge by 1.6 years on average and reach 59.8 years for men and 73.6 yearsfor women by 2005 as compared to 58.6 and 72.1 years correspondingly in2001. The general average life expectancy is forecasted to increase from64.8 years in 2001 to 66.4 years in 2005..
The Russian Ministry of Defense showed a video of the destruction of US-made M777 towed howitzers in Ukraine. The US systems were destroyed by the Russian Kub (Cube) kamikaze drone