Interfax: Russians have started smoking less, dying of alcohol poisoning less – government report

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) – Russians have become less prone to bad habits. According to the materials prepared for the annual government report in the State Duma, thirty-one percent of the country’s adults said they smoked in 2016, against 41% in 2010. The data was provided citing the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. Alcohol consumption has decreased from 14.3 liters […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Do Russians really drink as much as people think they do?”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“How is vodka…” “Why did Putin…” RBTH has chosen some of the most popular search queries related to Russia and will answer each question in detail in a series of articles titled “Why Russia.” Today, we examine how Russia has earned its reputation as a country that loves to drink. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLEG YEGOROV, RBTH […]

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Moscow Unlikely to Achieve Life Expectancy Gains It had Projected, Health Ministry Admits

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 26, 2016) The Russian health ministry has changed its target figures on reducing mortality rates and extending life expectancy by 2020, a reflection experts say of the fact that the Russian government no longer expects to be able to improve the health of the population as much as it did. Ministry […]

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Russians Toast Recession as Pubgoers Drink ‘Less But Better’

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov, Andrey Lemeshko – November 30, 2016) A staple drink of Russia’s recession comes in different flavors but it’s best consumed standing up. Food is optional. Not a beer country until the arrival a decade ago of a central European tradition of sit-down bars that married brews with hearty meals, Russia is now reveling in […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH: “Russia takes 119th place in global health ranking. Lower-than-expected score attributed to high rate of alcoholism and suicide.”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

Russia was rated in the bottom third of a global ranking of population health in a report released last week by British medical journal The Lancet; the country ranked 119 out of 188 nations. The report, based on analysis by 1,800 scientists, graded nations on 33 health indicators approved by the UN in September 2015 as part of the Millennium […]

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Russians Significantly Cut Back on Booze – Drug Treatment Center

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 20, 2016) Over the past five years, Russians’ alcohol consumption has dropped by almost a third, the Health Ministry’s top drug specialist Yevgeny Bryun told the M24.ru news website. “An adult drinks 12.8 liters of pure alcohol a year on average. Five to six years ago the official amount was 18 liters per person,” […]

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Budweiser Is Having a Ball in Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – March 30, 2016) Budweiser is enjoying an unlikely source of growth in Russia’s declining beer market, even as the all-American brand continues to struggle at home. In a country where brewing output has fallen more than 30 percent since 2008, the self-proclaimed King of Beers is growing sales at a double-digit pace, according […]

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Russians started drinking less and living longer; Russians’ life expectancy increased to 71.2 years.

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ELEONORA GOLDMAN, RBTH – March 10, 2016) Infant mortality decreased by 12 percent in 2015 and Russians’ life expectancy has increased to just over 71.2 years, said Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on March 9, 2016. Meanwhile, she noted that the general aging of the […]

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Nine lingering myths about Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

We are often held prisoner by imposed stereotypes and opinions about countries, people and events. RBTH has collected nine myths about Russia that are far from accurate. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALYA PUKHOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) 1. The death rate in Russia is higher than its birth rate There is a widespread belief […]

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Russians using less alcohol, says watchdog

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Interfax – January 19, 2016) Up to 500,000 Russians die annually of causes related to the excessive use of alcohol, Rospotrebnadzor consumer rights’ watchdog reports. “Experts say that in Russia alcohol abuse causes the premature avertable death of about half a million people every year, resulting in a mortality rate of about 30 percent of men and 15 percent of […]

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Bad News Trumps Glad Tidings During Russia’s Long Vacation

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – January 10, 2016) A lot can happen in 10 days, and during Russia’s long winter holiday, it usually does. From bizarre, bloody attacks to lethal combinations of bad weather and alleged government negligence, the long Russian New Year and Orthodox Christmas break has brought plenty of grim news — along with […]

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Most Russians Won’t Make It to Their 71st Birthday, OECD Report Shows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 5, 2015) High alcohol and tobacco consumption mean most Russians will never reach the age of 71, with the average life expectancy in Russia lagging almost 10 years behind the average in developed countries – the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report published Wednesday. The average life expectancy in Russia […]

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Russian Press Digest (19 August 2015)

(opendemocracy.net – EDITORS OF OPENDEMOCRACY RUSSIA) This Wednesday, the Russian press focuses on the departure of Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways and a close ally of Vladimir Putin. According to business daily Kommersant, Yakunin called his decision to leave ‘a personal one’ during a conversation with Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Kaliningrad’s election commission is processing Yakunin’s candidacy to become the […]

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Putin’s Other War? Russians’ Binge Drinking

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Peter R. Orszag – August 11, 2015) Peter R. Orszag is a Bloomberg View columnist. Now vice chairman of corporate and investment banking and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group at Citigroup, he was previously director of the Office of Management and Budget. Russian President Vladimir Putin may be undermining global peace and civic […]

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30 Years On, Gorbachev Rues Running of His Soviet Anti-Alcohol Campaign

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 15, 2015) Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said that his massive anti-alcohol campaign in the 1980s was too swift and sweeping, and combating heavy drinking – which remains a major problem as Russia’s problem 30 years later – should have been handled more patiently, according to a recent interview. Speaking on […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Kremlin says Russians are drinking less and exercising more. Are they? Only to a degree, say analysts

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

The Kremlin says Russians are drinking and smoking far less and exercising far more than just a few years ago. Has Russia finally gotten the upper hand on the chronic health problems that have caused its demographic decline? Maybe not. Experts warn that while Russians do appear to be living healthier lives now, the improvement shown in figures gathered by […]

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NEWSWATCH: Is Russia’s Demographic Recovery at Risk of Reversal?

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

[“Is Russia’s Demographic Recovery at Risk of Reversal?” – The Unz Review – unz.com – Anatoly Karlin – January 30, 2015] Antoly Karlin and The Unz Review examine Russia’s demographic shifts. This year will mark yet another milestone in Russia’s steady post-1990s demographic recovery, with the population minus Crimea hitting 144.0 million as of January 1, 2015 … relative to 143.7 […]

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Alcohol Kills 500,000 Russians Annually

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 2, 2014) Around 500,000 Russians die due to alcohol abuse every year, Russia’s health and safety watchdog said in a statement Monday. More teenagers and women of childbearing age have started consuming alcohol, which lowers life expectancy and contributes to the number of untimely deaths in the country, the statement said. The government has […]

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RIA Novosti: Top Russian psychiatrist links increased drunk driving to economic strain

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 24, 2014) The Russian Health Ministry’s chief freelance psychiatrist [Zurab Kekelidze] has declared that the number of road traffic accidents involving drunk drivers has risen by 10 per cent in Russia this year, possibly due to psychological strain owing to changes to the international and economic situation. “In the first seven months of 2013 the […]

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Interfax: Expert says drug abuse rates in Russia not catastrophic, alcoholism much worse

Russian Drug Den File Photo

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) – The official drug abuse figure in Russia stands at 650,000 people. Their number is down 9% for the first time ever, the Russian Health Ministry’s chief substance abuse specialist Yevgeny Bryun said. “I cannot call drug abuse rates catastrophic. The alcoholism problem is much worse here. About 650,000 drug addicts have been registered in the […]

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Poll: Most Russians Would Sacrifice Booze and Cigarettes to Hurt West

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) More than 70 percent of Russians would ban imports of booze and cigarettes from Western countries in retaliation for sanctions, but few would give up foreign cars or pay an additional tax on vacations abroad, a recent poll indicated. Other popular measures included blacklisting foreign hotels (supported by 77 percent) and banning […]

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Russians Are World’s 2nd Highest Spenders on Alcohol

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 29, 2014) Russian consumers ranked second only to Estonians in terms of the amount of money they spent on alcoholic beverages last year, Euromonitor International said in a report. While Estonian consumers spent 6.5 percent of their cash on beer, wine or spirits in 2013, Russians spent 5.8 percent, or $61.5 million, on alcohol. […]

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Russians Still Among Heaviest Alcohol Drinkers Worldwide, Report Says

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 15, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reprimanded the head of Russia’s alcohol watchdog as the World Health Organization published a report classing Russians as some of the world’s heaviest drinkers. Medvedev signed an order faulting Federal Alcohol Market Regulatory Service head Igor Chuyan for “substandard organization of work to enforce government orders,” on Monday, […]

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Interfax: Most Russians like alcohol, vodka is top preference – sociologists

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Interfax – April 1, 2014) Some 68 percent of Russians drink alcohol from time to time, and vodka, sparking wine and beer top the preference list, the Public Opinion Foundation said. Men (75 percent) like drinking more than women (68 percent). Twenty-one percent of respondents said they never drank alcohol and 10 percent stopped drinking, 4 percent of them did […]

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Russian hangover remedies: Cucumbers, caviar, and a bath

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – January 1, 2014) During the holidays, a morning hangover can ruin your day. There are many remedies in the world for a hangover, but Russians swear by theirs. A folk wisdom says “What is good for a Russian in the evening, is bad for him in the morning.” This […]

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In Russia, ‘Death has Become a Way of Life’

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 3, 2013) The Kremlin celebrates every temporary uptick in the Russian birthrate, but it and many others typically ignore another deeply troubling aspect of that country’s deteriorating demographic situation: extraordinarily high death rates among adults and especially working-age males. Indeed, those rates are so high ­ Russia ranks 175th among the […]

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Russian Alcohol Intake Has Dropped By a Fourth Since 2010 – Official

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 17, 2013) Drinking of alcohol by Russians has dropped by one-quarter over the past three years, according to a leading health official. The Health Ministry’s substance abuse specialist, Yevgeny Bryun, said alcohol consumption per capita currently stands at 13.5 liters of pure ethyl alcohol equivalent, down from 18 liters in 2010. The 2010 figure was […]

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2.5 million liters of Georgian wine imported to Russia – official

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 23, 2013) Around 2.5 million liters of wine have been delivered by Georgia’s enterprises to the Russian market since Russia lifted its ban on Georgian wine imports, Gennady Onishchenko, head of the consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor and Russia’s chief epidemiologist, told Interfax on Friday. “A total of 690 shipments of alcohol products weighing more than 2.4 […]

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Society at root of worries over rising Russian excise

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Maria Stambler – August 20, 2013) When Westerners think of Russia, bears, snow, matryoshki and, of course, vodka are among the first things that come to mind. The pervasiveness and social acceptance of vodka have attracted the government’s attention in recent years due to worrying levels of alcoholism. According to a 2011 report by the […]

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Russians rate tobacco, alcohol low amongst disease causes – poll

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 6, 2013) Russians tend to blame their diseases on themselves, while low living standards and bad environmental conditions are deemed less significant, sociologists said. Daily stress and fears top the list of causes of diseases, Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax. Other essential factors are bad environmental conditions (26%), age (24%), a shortage of […]

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Western Activists Urge Vodka Boycotts, Visa Bans To Protest Russia’s Antigay Laws

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – July 29, 2013) Western lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists are ratcheting up the pressure on Russia over laws outlawing “gay propaganda.” Among the tactics: an online campaign to “dump Russian vodka” calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, while another campaign urges a visa ban […]

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Russians switch from vodka to whiskey – sociologists

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 24, 2013) The number of whiskey fans in Russia is growing and the percentage of young people among whiskey consumers is on the rise as well, sociologists said. Consumption of whiskey increased in the first quarter of this year although a decline had been predicted, Romir Holding experts told Interfax on Wednesday. The opinion was based […]

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Georgian Wine Comes Back to Russia

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – July 12, 2013) It was meant to be a triumphant comeback that would patch up sour diplomatic relations between former Soviet republics and satisfy Russia’s thirst for quality wine. But following a six-year ban from the country, Georgian wines are facing an uphill battle in the market and experts say they are […]

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Russian health folklore and ‘cure’ for the common cold

Fresh Garlic Heads and Cloves file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – July 1, 2013) Got a headache? Put a cabbage leaf on your head. Toothache? Garlic is your answer. Drinking a shot of vodka will help cure a cold. If you happen to be suffering from an open wound, slap some badger fat on it and your cut will be healed in no […]

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Georgian wine starts flowing across Russian border

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – June 17, 2013) A Georgian vintner exported its first shipment of wine to Russia in seven years on June 14, as the lifting of Moscow’s ban on wine imports from its small southern neighbour is finally sealed. The Dugladze winery announced that it had delivered an initial shipment of 30 bottles, which will be […]

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Setting the Pace for Russia, Moscow Tames Its Excesses

Moscow Traffic file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – June 10, 2013 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) Last week, an American friend of mine received two mysterious white envelopes in the mail. On opening them, he found that each contained a black and white photo of his car, each taken secretly, in the […]

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Tbilisi says supplies of Georgian wine to Russia to resume next week

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – TBILISI, June 6, 2013) A first batch of Georgian wine will be sent to Russia next week, Head of the National Wine Agency of the Georgia Agriculture Ministry, Levan Davitashvili, said at a briefing on Thursday. “Two Georgian wine enterprises have already received Russian excise stamps and plan to begin supplying their products to Russia next week,” Davitashvili […]

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Most Georgians approve of planned resumption of wine exports to Russia – poll

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – TBILISI, April 15, 2013) A vast majority of Georgians approve of the government’s plan to resume exports of wine, mineral water and agricultural produce to Russia, an opinion poll suggests. Current Georgian-Russian talks on the resumption of such exports were acceptable to 84% of respondents and unacceptable to only 3% of respondents in a recent survey by the […]

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Majority of Georgian wine, farm products to return to Russia by June – minister

Georgia Map

(Interfax – TBILISI, April 8, 2013) The return of Georgian wine, mineral water, fruit, vegetables and other produce to Russia is going successfully and supplies might resume by June, Georgian Minister of Agriculture David Kirvalidze said at a briefing on Monday. “We have stepped forward in both directions,” Kirvalidze said when commenting on the second inspection the Russian consumer rights […]

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New Russian laws: no chance of a drink or a smoke

No Smoking Symbol

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – March 21, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Throughout Russia’s history its rulers have attempted to curtail the consumption of alcohol and/or tobacco. Gorbachev had little success in the 1980s; will this year’s new laws […]

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Why Russians are sobering up

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Ben Aris, special to RBTH – March 11, 2013) Russians’ legendary capacity for hard drinking is finally being challenged ­ by a changing work ethic and a Kremlin crackdown. Faced with Russia’s alarming demographic decline, the government is getting serious about tackling the country’s legendary love of strong liquor. This January, stiff new […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia & Georgia: Wine-Tasting

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

[Russia & Georgia: wine tasting – Financial Times – Isabel Gorst – March 7, 2013 – http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/06/russia-georgia-wine-tasting/] The Financial Times covers preparations to lift Russia’s ban on Georgian wine and mineral water imports, as the two countries look towards trade as an initial foundation for improved relations: Sanitary inspectors in Russia look set to lift a ban on Georgian wine […]

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Life Expectancy in Russia Is Stagnant, Study Says

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – March 6, 2013) Russia saw virtually no increase in life expectancy from 1990 to 2010 and lagged behind more than 100 countries in the key health statistic over that period, according to a global study released Tuesday. The study, called the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010, says that while global life […]

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Sixty-nine Georgian wine, mineral water firms apply for exports to Russia

Georgia Map

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) – A total of 69 Georgian wine and mineral water producers have applied to export product to Russia, Russian consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said. “All of the documents received have been forwarded to Rospotrebnadzor experts for study. Priority will be given to those 31 organizations that have submitted information for the documentary check in full. The […]

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Georgian Wine Could Be Allowed by Spring, Onishchenko Says

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – February 5, 2013) Georgian wine and mineral water could return to Russian store shelves as early as this spring, Russia’s chief sanitary official said Monday. Moscow will send teams of sanitary inspectors to facilities in Georgia, Gennady Onishchenko told reporters. If they approve local quality levels, producers can register in Russia […]

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Bad Roads, Drinking, Utilities – Russians’ Chief Concerns

Moscow Traffic file photo

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Bad roads, the spread of alcoholism and the critical situation in the housing maintenance and utilities sector are Russia’s most pressing problems, followed by poor healthcare services and drug addiction, the Federal Statistics Service (FSS) said on Wednesday. Last September, the FSS conducted a survey covering 10,000 households in all parts of Russia and […]

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State Finds Cure for Hangover

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – January 15, 2013) The Health Ministry’s chief narcologist, Yevgeny Bryun, warned Monday that it would take a month for many Russians to recover from the excesses of New Year’s celebrations. “Long holidays are in any event bad. Long-term abuse of alcohol is always bad; it has chronic toxic impacts, the effects of […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia rings in new year with ban on kiosk beer sales

New Year's Eve in Red Square with Crowd and Fireworks

(Russia rings in new year with ban on kiosk beer sales – AP – Jim Heintz – January 1, 2013 – Click here for full article) AP covers Russia’s abolition of sidewalk beer vending, as well as a Russian move to reclassify beer as alcohol rather than food: A big question in Russia in this year may be: “How do […]

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20 Georgian wine and mineral water producers preparing to resume exports to Russia

Georgia Map

TBILISI. Jan 1 (Interfax) – Twenty Georgian companies producing wine and mineral water are preparing to resume the deliveries of their output to the Russian market, head of the Center for Georgian-Russian Economic Cooperation Giorgy Seturidze told the press summing up the results of a Monday meeting with representatives of these companies. He said all technical questions related to the […]

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NGO Warning ‘Not Linked’ to Foreign Agent Law – Justice Ministry

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Justice Ministry on Thursday denied reports that a regional branch of the No to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Foundation had been warned under the new “foreign agent” law. “This requirement [to disclose sources of foreign funding] has existed since 2006. Thus, the warning issued is in no way linked to the coming into […]

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