Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Ever More Russians Drinking Ever More Moonshine, Moscow Sociologists Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 14 – The Russian government continues to celebrate declines in the amount of alcohol Russians consume and projects that it will be able to reduce the amount further from 9.8 liters of pure alcohol a year per capita to 7.8 liters by 2030, but those figures cover only registered alcohol and not samogon, the Russian word for self-produced moonshine.

            If consumption of that variety of alcohol is factored in, Mikhail Sergeyev, a journalist who specializes on economic issues for Nezavisimaya Gazeta says then overall Russian consumption is much higher and the task of reducing overall consumption is that much more difficult (

            He cites a new study by Viktoriya Bryuno and Margarita Pozdnyakova of the Moscow Institute of Sociology which found that the share of Russians drinking samogon had doubled from five to ten percent of the total population and that in rural areas the share now stood at 15 percent or more.

            Samogon consumption is concentrated among the poorest strata of the population who turn to it rather than official alcohol because of its price, while the production of samogon, they report, is more typical of slightly better off Russians who can afford to purchase the necessary equipment, something the poorest can’t.

            Moreover, Bryuno and Pozdnaykova say, Russians appear more likely to drink samogon on binges rather than every day, a pattern of consumption that has the most adverse effects on health, economic activity and criminal behavior. 


No comments:

Post a Comment