Thursday, June 15, 2023

Since Start of Putin’s Expanded War in Ukraine, Senior Russian Officials have Taken to Drinking More to Relieve Stress, ‘Verstka’ Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 10 – Since the start of Putin’s expanded war in Ukraine and especially after it became clear that Russia was not going to win in a walk and after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Kremlin leader, senior Russian officials both in Moscow and in the regions have significantly increased their consumption of alcohol to fight stress.

            That is the conclusion of a journalistic investigation by the Verstka news agency which spoke both with officials prepared to talk about their colleagues and with journalists who have encountered officials who clearly have had too much to drink (

            Much of this increased drinking is done out of public eye, as officials try to hide their consumption from Putin who drinks very little and has called regularly for a healthy way of life. But “even at official state banquets,” the news agency reports, the norm of one bottle per guest per meal has now become two.

            At the top of the list of favored alcoholic beverages now, it continues, are cognac, champagne and still wines. But vodka is not far behind. And in the case of all these drinks, the Russian elite is consuming not just domestic brands but imported ones, often supplied by companies that have said they are leaving the Russian market but have not.

            Moderate consumption of alcohol may in fact help some of these officials to cope with stress, but excessive drinking can lead to disasters, with some officials incapable of doing their jobs and others putting themselves at risk of accidents and even in a few cases deaths. If the current trend toward increased consumption continues, all of this will only get worse.

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