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Auf wiedersehen — Photo: Sascha Kohlmann

BERLIN — Where have all the women gone? That is the latest question in some parts of the former East Germany, which a new study shows to have Europe's lowest ratio of women to men.

German demographers and economists have already noted that after the Wall came down in 1989, very few children were born amidst the collapse of the GDR — and many of those who were born in this period left eastern Germany once they were old enough to seek better economic opportunities elsewhere. Germans speak of a "halved" generation in its eastern states.

Now, a new study by the Federal Institute of Population Research shows that there is also a net surplus of men to be found in the wake of these demographic changes, German news wire DPA reports. Some rural areas have an "unprecedented" lack of women by European standards, the study found.

This is due to the "very mobile" eastern German women between the ages of 18-24 who tend to be better educated than men of the same age, according to the study, and leave either for Western Germany, large Eastern cities, or abroad. There are districts with up to 25% more men than women, between the ages of 18-29, the Federal Institute noted — which is mostly the case in infrastructurally weak, rural regions.

"This is also the case in rural regions in Western Germany but not to the same extent," Manuel Slupina of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development told DPA.

Read the full story in German here.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Along The "New Border" Of Ukraine, Annexation Has Just Doubled The Danger

Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of Ukrainian territories in a ceremony in the Kremlin. In a village just a few kilometers away from what is now the Ukraine-Russia "border" in Putin's eyes, life continues amid constant shelling and the fear of what comes next.

Ukrainian soldiers are stationed in the village of Inhulka, near Kherson.

Stefan Schocher

INHULKA — The trail leads over a gravel road, a rickety pontoon bridge past a checkpoint. Here in the remote village of Inhulka near Kherson in southern Ukraine, soldiers sit in front of the village shop. Inside, two women run back and forth behind the counter, making coffee, selling sausages, weighing tomatoes. "Natalochka, where are the cookies," calls a dark-haired lady across the room.

But Natalochka, her colleague, is about to lose her nerve. "What kind of life is that?" she says, finally reaching up to grab the cookies from the top of a shelf. What kind of life can it be, she asks, when something is constantly exploding next to you and you don't know if you'll wake up in the morning.

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Inhulka is the center of a rural community. 1,587 inhabitants, as the village chief says, one school, one kindergarten, one doctor, two stores. Since March, nothing here is as it used to be. That was when the Russian army came to the village.

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