Friday, June 7, 2024

Poverty and Alcohol, Not War in Ukraine, Primary Drivers of Rising Crime in Russia, Interior Ministry Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 1 – Guns continue to flood into Russia from Putin’s war in Ukraine and have made crime in Russia more violent ( and

            But experts at the Russian interior ministry say that the primary drivers of increases in crime are not the availability of illegal guns but rather widespread poverty and rising rates of consumption of alcohol (

            Moreover, Russian criminologists commenting on the report say that the amount of crime is being seriously understated, perhaps by as much as 75 to 80 percent, in key categories, a conclusion that calls into question all the Putin regime’s upbeat claims about its success in reducing crime across the board.

            According to the interior ministry report which was released last month, “about 40 percent of [Russian] women and 60 percent of [Russian] men consume alcohol regularly,” with 30 percent, nearly one in three, misusing it. And the report says that Russians are now consuming “about 15 liters of pure alcohol each year,” far above what Moscow has acknowledged.

            Many Russians who commit crimes do so under the influence of alcohol, making it a key factor in the rise in crime; but perhaps even more important, the report says, is poverty, the lack of certainty about the future, and a sense that people at the bottom of the social pyramid are being treated unjustly and thus have a right to take things into their own hands.

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