Leaders Try To Cap Russia's Vodka Habit ... Again : NPR
A Historical Problem
Legend has it that the 18th century Russian czar Peter the Great, who liked to drink, would throw lavish parties drenched in vodka. But guests drank so much that some of them died.
Kamaletdinov says one of the czar's ideas to try to get things under control was to force people to drink so much they became embarrassed and learned a lesson.
Fast forward 300 years: Alcoholism remains a serious problem, and Medvedev has his own ideas on how to combat it.
In a speech last year, the president said that when he saw new government data on how much Russians drink, it took his breath away. Eighteen liters — or nearly 5 gallons — of pure alcohol is what the average Russian drinks each year. That, he said, is twice the amount the World Health Organization considers dangerous.
And while the problem isn't limited to vodka, that's the president's target for now.
Target: Cheap Vodka
The government's decision to raise the minimum price of vodka has mostly affected places likeprodukti stores — Russian versions of convenience stores. Olga Shibitova, a cashier at one store, said prices there are within the law, but so far, the store has seen no drop in business.
Russians will keep drinking...