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Putin Aims to Cut Alcohol Consumption by Half

15. January 2010 by Daniel 0 Comments

If Vladimir Putin has his way, Russian alcohol consumption will be half of what it is today in 10 years time.

That’s the goal of Russia’s prime minister by the year 2020, according to an anti-alcohol strategy document that was posted on a government Web site this week. Under Putin’s plan, national demand for alcohol will be cut by 15 percent between 2010 and 2012 and then another 55 percent between 2013 and 2020.

Though the strategy is ambitious, the document left unclear exactly what steps the government will take to attempt such a massive change in the number of Russians wanting alcohol. However, it does note that officials will crack down on black market alcohol sales.

As Russians have developed a reputation for being a hard-drinking people, government leaders have come under pressure to do something to curb the country’s rate of alcohol consumption. Officials believe that alcoholism and alcohol-related illnesses account for poor health statistics in Russia. The average life expectancy for Russian men is age 60. Alcohol is also blamed for more than 100,000 Russian deaths annually.


In October, President Dmitry Medvedev imposed a ban on outdoor beer sales as well as a limit on the number of hours per day that alcohol can be sold.