Ukraine War Special: Would You Get Pregnant Because Putin Promised To Pay Your Mortgage?
Supermodel Kira Dikhtyar Explains An incentive Behind Her Decision To Have A Russian Baby in the US.
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Yesterday, I ran part one of my Ukraine War One Anniversary Special Q and A with the Russian American supermodel, Kira Dikhtyar, who has a cousin fighting for Ukraine and another fighting for Russia.
Today, in Part Two, Kira reveals that, after what felt like an impossible start, she has figured out how to work successfully in the US and, that she is 10-weeks pregnant with her second child. Her eldest son lives in Moscow. She explains that a huge incentive for the pregnancy was the fact that, last Fall, Russian President Vladimir Putin increased the value of his policy of Maternity Capital, as an effort to repopulate Russia following the death-toll from the war in Ukraine. Kira explains she will receive half a million Russian rubles for giving birth to her second son, as long as he’s born under the Russian flag, which can happen, even in the US.
The following is edited and condensed for clarity.
Kira: I’m ten weeks pregnant. Because of the increased numbers of men going to war, Putin increased maternity capital, especially maternity capital for the second child – to sky high numbers.
It happened right after the militarization started. I think three or four months ago, Putin made a statement that he raised the maternity capital, which in Russia already existed.[to combat falling population numbers.]
So basically for the first child you get a certain amount of money from the government. For the second child you get a large amount of money for the government. Same with the third child.
But because of the militarization Putin said when there were like 80,000 graves that came back from the war, he said that 80,000 graves is 200,000 unborn children demographically.
So he is really looking after the country, not only now but in the future. So if you have a second child you get half a million in Russian rubles, and you can use it for a mortgage on an apartment. So basically, you can get an apartment in Russia, like a two bedroom apartment for this kind of money, from the government to stimulate childbirth.
Vicky: Well first of all, are you planning to go back to Russia or are you going to stay here and have your baby?
Kira: Well, it depends on my doctor and with my relationship. I can do both.
Vicky: Are you entitled to maternity capital regardless of where you give birth?
Kira: Yes, I'm entitled regardless, because my child's going be born under the Russian flag. We have a dream that his baby is going to compete for Russia. I trained as a gymnast. My boyfriend is a blackbelt. We just had an ultrasound and the baby is already moving. They said to us the baby is very strong. So we are thinking that baby is going to be a Russian champion.
So we agree that we will go straight to the Russian Embassy. That my child will obtain a Russian passport immediately. He or she is going to have US citizenship anyway, but he or she is going to be born under the Russian flag. And compete for Russia.
Vicky: Kira, let me ask you this. You are back here, having left soon after the war started. A year ago it was difficult for you to get work in New York as a Russian model. [I reported your agent was told no one was hiring Russian models]. This time you have been successful modeling. What changed?
Kira: I actually figured it out. The US and Nato countries declined to hire me, but I started to work for Russian publications instead. I started to work for countries like Serbia, like Vietnam, like China, like India, like Indonesia. These are not American brands. These are not French or Italian brands, but these are huge countries, regardless.
Vicky: You still have an American agent?
Kira: Yeah. I still have an American agent, but we are approaching clients from all over the world, and we are here. And I'm actually thinking to myself, I'm almost halfway to creating my own production company, because I collaborate with amazing photographer, stylist…lots of them are Russian and lots of them happen to be in the same situation as me.
I’m about to sign with this maternity modeling agency. Hopefully this whole political situation isn’t going to affect my ability to get work as a maternity model.
Vicky: I’m obviously thrilled for you that you are pregnant, but let me ask you this: Did your decision to become pregnant have anything to do with the maternity capital program?
Kira: With the maternity capital program? Yes. Because when I got pregnant, I was not sure of my relationship with my boyfriend.
It does affect the decision of a mother to have a baby or to interrupt the pregnancy. I thought okay, if my boyfriend leaves me, what I'm gonna do? I'm just gonna buy myself a ticket on Turkish Air and go back to my family in Moscow and apply for maternity capital. And even if a child is born abroad, he or she obtains Russian citizenship. It doesn't matter what the father’s nationality is or even if there is no father at all, the mother is qualified for maternity capital.
2023 will be a hard year for childbirths because of all the men in the war, obviously. Women don't really have many men to get pregnant with. Especially with men of reproductive age, and sadly lots of them are not gonna come back from this war. We are losing thousands and thousands of men of reproductive age. Which is gonna create, like in a previous wars, a demographic crisis.
So I think that actually, you can criticize Putin as much as you want, but the situation in Ukraine is much worse because half of the country flees. [Possibly a reference to reports like this]. And [Ukraine president] Zelensky didn't make these kind of measures. I don't know why he didn’t, because the United States gave him so much money. He could have spent some of it on maternity capital too, to stimulate birth in Ukraine. Because otherwise, no more little Ukrainians will be born. I mean, what's going to happen to the country when Ukrainians are born across the world, obtaining different passports? What's gonna happen with the population of Ukraine? How can a President not think about it? It’s very stupid. Our president's already thinking a century ahead of him. We need little Russians otherwise our nations going to die.
Vicky: Kira, you've given me so much to think about. Thank you.