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Published On: Wed, Aug 18th, 2010

Russia bans alcohol sales, largest enforcement since Soviet Union

From the beginning of September, it will be illegal for the Russian capital’s supermarkets, shops and kiosks to sell vodka from 10pm to 10am., the strongest restriction on alcohol in years.

The move will replace rules which forbid Moscow’s shops from selling the vodka from eleven at night to eight in the morning but which in practice allow them to sell vodka around the clock if they get a permit.

The Kremlin is pushing ahead with the harshest anti-alcohol campaign since former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s ban on vodka sales in 1985.

Yevgeny Brun, Russia’s top government expert in drug and alcohol abuse, welcomed the new restrictions.

“This decision can only be welcomed,” he told Russian news agency Interfax. “It is a very good measure that will make it possible to reduce the alcoholic strain on the population.” Russian officials estimate that 500,000 people die for alcohol-related reasons every year, while President Dmitry Medvedev has declared Russia’s drinking problem “a national disaster.”

Gorbachev’s ban decreed that vodka could only be sold from two in the afternoon to seven at night. His campaign prompted desperate drunks to get their fix by drinking perfume and other hazardous intoxicants instead. Many of them died as a result.

Continue to the full story here.

photo by rotemliss via wikimedia commons

photo by rotemliss via wikimedia commons

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