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    Russian population down by 680,000 in 2005 - statistics

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    MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's population decreased by 680,000 people in 2005, according to preliminary data, which represents a 0.5% fall on last year, the head of the Federal Statistics Service said Tuesday.

    "The population of Russia stood at 142,800,000 people as of December 1, 2005," Vladimir Sokolin said.

    "The long term trend toward a decrease in population is typical today for the majority of European countries," he added.

    Sokolin said that developed countries resolved such problems by attracting immigrants.

    He added that the Russian government had approved earlier in January plans to conduct a nationwide census in October 2010.

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