Heavy drinkers in Russia face a new headache – a financial one this time – in an attempt to cure the country’s chronic alcohol problem. Vodka is the tipple of choice as boozers prepare to down more than a few during the New Year and Orthodox Christmas holidays. But the cheapest half-litre bottle nearly doubled in price today, to 89 roubles (about two euros), to tackle Russia’s liquid love affair.
The campaign is supported by President Dmitry Medvedev, who is determined to cut the extraordinary number of alcohol-related fatalities in Russia. Excessive drinking is blamed for more than half the deaths of people aged between 15 and 54 since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.