Saturday, February 17, 2024

After Declining , Russian Consumption of Alcohol Again at Highest Level in Nine Years

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 13 – To combat alcoholism, the Russian government introduced new restrictions and taxes on alcohol sales in the early 2000s. As a result, sales of alcohol per Russian over the age of 15 fell from 11.4 liters of pure alcohol in 2007 to 7.2 liters in 2017. But because of the pandemic and then the war, they have risen again to the highest figure since 2015.

            Experts say that the actual consumption of alcohol is far higher because these figures do not include illegal moonshine or alcohol produced in government-registered factories but diverted before it is taxed and enters the official marketplace ( reposted at

            In some parts of northern Russia, consumption of officially registered alcohol is again staggeringly high with residents of the Nenets AD, Karelia, and Sakhalin Oblast at more than 14 liters per person over the age of 15, while in Muslim regions, although the numbers are up, consumption is vastly lower.

            Demographers like Yevgeny Andreyev say that all these increases reflects the Russian tradition of responding to difficulties by drinking more, while economist Mariya Kolosnitsyna points out that the anti-alcohol campaign of the last decade has largely “stopped working” (


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