Putin Is Putting A Cap On Vodka Prices

Russia vodkaREUTERS/Diana MarkosianA man fills plastic glasses with vodka to drink it with his acquaintance as they sit in a car in the city of Nazran.

Vladimir Putin is putting a cap on the soaring vodka prices now that Russians are switching over to moonshine, reports the state-owned TASS news agency.

It’s unclear how the caps will be employed, but they’re coming.

Vodka prices have increased in Russia partially due to the current economic crisis

The country is struggling with a devalued ruble (which has dropped 45% against the dollar this year) and high inflation, which hit 10.4% on Wednesday.

And now that vodka prices are up because of the struggling economy, people are trying to find new, cheap ways of getting their hands on spirits — aka with moonshine.

But Putin doesn’t want Russians starting to drink more and more bootlegged spirits.

“Illegal vodka, all sorts of surrogate spirits of this kind start popping up when the legal products are overpriced,” Putin said during a meeting of the State Council and the Council for Culture.

One reason why Putin doesn’t want Russians to increase their consumption of bootlegged spirits, in part  because of Russia’s large problem with alcohol — especially for men.

“We have to fight [alcoholization] in sane ways,” he said on Tuesday.

25% of Russian men die before their 55th birthday — a problem that is partially attributed to alcohol consumption. The risk of dying before 55 is exacerbated by those “who said they drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka a week.”

By comparison, only 10% of US men die before their 55th birthday, and only 7% of men in the UK do.

However, it’s also interesting to note that Putin’s announcement about capping vodka prices coincided with the day that survey results showing growth in “protest moods” in Russia.

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