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Archive for Health, Alcohol, Smoking, AIDS, Epidemics

Russian NGOs Working to Fight AIDS Not ‘Foreign Agents’

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – August 15, 2014) Non-governmental organizations working to fight HIV/AIDS in Russia will not be required to register as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad, Kommersant reported Friday, citing the results of recent inspections by the Justice Ministry. The inspections, which began in June at the

Drugs Agency Proposes Giving Range of Social Benefits to Recovering Addicts

Russian Drug Den File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 1, 2014) Russia’s drug control agency has proposed providing free housing, food subsidies and home attendants to recovering addicts to help them in their rehabilitation, in a bill that has drawn sharp criticism from opponents who argue it would encourage drug use, a news report said.

Cold turkey in Russia; In Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman’s City Without Drugs Foundation has been engaged in some very questionable practices. But why has there been so little discussion?

Russian Drug Den File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Elena Vlasenko – June 30, 2014) Elena Vlasenko is a Russian journalist Russia has no treatment programme for drug addicts; cold turkey is the only way they can kick the habit, either in prison or in rehab centres like Yevgeny Roizman’s City Without Drugs Foundation. But the foundation has been engaged in some

No Rehab for Russia’s Drug Addicts

Russian Drug Den File Photo

(The Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – June 26, 2014) As the world marks the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Thursday, millions of drug addicts in Russia have nowhere to go for treatment, and specialists are in despair over the lack of progress in the country’s rehabilitation

Nicotine nation: The story of Russia’s addiction to the cigarette

Cigarette Being Lit

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, RBTH) On June 1, 2014, Russian lawmakers banned smoking in trains, hotels, cafes, and playgrounds. For a country where tobacco has been popular for more than 400 years, this is not the first action taken to restrict smoking. RBTH takes a trip back in time to

Smoking in Russia: kicking the habit

Cigarette Being Lit

(opendemocracy.net – Diana Quirmbach – June 3, 2014) Diana Quirmbach is a PhD candidate at University College London. More people smoke in Russia than almost anywhere else in the world, but the government is finally catching up, in clamping down. On 1 June 2014, the landscape of smoking changed dramatically in Russia. While efforts to

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,

New Law Could Hit Russian Smokers With Massive Cigarette Price Hike

Cigarette Being Lit

(Moscow Time – themoscowtimes.com – May 28, 2014) As Russians brace themselves for a public smoking ban to come into effect on Sunday, lawmakers have submitted a new draft law hiking the minimum price on cigarettes in the latest bid to change the country’s attitude to smoking. The new law would see a 41-percent increase

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

Russian schoolchildren no longer fit into their uniforms

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – April 15, 2014) According to statistics, children in Russia have grown bigger over the past 10 years, largely due to changes in lifestyle and the quality of food. Experts have expressed concern over the trend and claim it is a symptom of a growing

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,

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] State Council Presidium meeting on family, motherhood and childhood policy

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(Kremlin.ru – February 17, 2014) Vladimir Putin held a State Council Presidium meeting on family, motherhood and childhood policy, in particular with regard to implementing the May 2012 Presidential Executive Orders. Taking part in the meeting were Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Presidential Aide Igor Levitin, the heads of federal

NEWSLINK: Fast food conquers Russia, brings obesity

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

["Fast food conquers Russia, brings obesity" - ITAR-TASS - Lyudmila Alexandrova - February 18, 2014 - http://en.itar-tass.com/opinions/1676] ITAR-TASS tries to blame McDonald’s for Russian obesity: Russia’s first McDonald’s fast food restaurant opened on downtown Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square in late January 1990, causing unprecedented buzz among Muscovites who formed a multi-kilometer line to taste American fast

Admiral’s suicide shakes Russia’s healthcare system

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Anna Arutunyan – February 17, 2014) The shocking suicide of a Navy admiral has prompted official investigations into the bureaucratic hurdles Russian cancer patients face when trying to obtain pain medication. According to the experts, administrative problems, a lingering Soviet mentality and a misguided drug policy are to

NEWSLINK: Shape Up Sochi

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

["Shape Up Sochi" - Wall Street Journal - Betsy McKay - SOCHI - February 11, 2014 - http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2014/02/11/shape-up-sochi/] The Wall Street Journal covers efforts to use the Sochi Olympics to encourage health and fitness among Russians. The Olympics are supposed to inspire people to shape up and go for their inner gold, right? In Russia,

Do Russians need psychological help?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Trofimova, RBTH – February 6, 2014) The Soviet experience taught Russians that it was better to suffer than admit the need for help, but times are changing. It should come as no surprise that living in Russia is hard: It’s cold, wages are low and the government

Putin Touts Public-Private Partnership to Revive Health Care

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – January 22, 2014) President Vladimir Putin touted public-private partnership, as a means for revitalizing the threadbare public health care system at a meeting with top ministers Tuesday. The sector clearly demands investment, but simply raising the rates that individuals and companies pay into the state’s obligatory medical

HIV Epidemic Plagues Russia as Government Rejects Prevention Methods

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Simeon Bennett and Stepan Kravchenko – January 13, 2014) On a chilly September evening in Novogireyevo, a Moscow suburb of concrete apartment blocks about 16 kilometers east of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin compound, a young woman in an orange hoodie approaches Sasha Mazay with an offer that might save his

A Russian City Where Life Expectancy has Declined to 38 Years

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 9, 2014) Karabash, a copper-smelting company town in Chelyabinsk Oblast, has seen the life expectancy of its residents fall to 38 years, the result of massive environmental pollution by a highly profitable company that has turned this city of 13,000 into a kind of hell, “one

Russia Fourth in World For Number of Smokers

Cigarette Being Lit

MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia is among the world’s heaviest smoking countries, outranked only by China, India and Indonesia, according to a new report out Wednesday. About 39 million of 143 million Russians smoked as of 2012, the latest year covered by a global group of researchers for a study published in the

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

Undercover at a Russian Hospital

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eradzh Nidoev – December 13, 2013) It’s 10 a.m. on a Sunday. A thin layer of fog hangs in the air, but I can clearly see the dilapidated concrete building in front of me. It is one of the biggest children’s hospitals in Moscow. I am here to work as

Russia sees decline in smokers

No Smoking Symbol

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ilya Dashkovsky, special to RBTH – December 9, 2013) Higher taxes on tobacco products has forced more Russians to quit smoking. Tobacco users in Russia decreased by more than 5 percent in 2013, and experts expect a new higher excise taxes to reduce further the sale of cigarettes.

RIA Novosti: 143,000 Russians Killed by HIV-Related Illnesses – Official

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) ­ More than 143,000 Russians have died from HIV-related illnesses since records started being kept, a federal AIDS research center official said Thursday. Vadim Pokrovsky, head of the AIDS research and prevention center, said 20,000 people died from complications of HIV last year alone. Rampant drug addiction and lack of

HIV rate going up in Russia – watchdog

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

MOSCOW. Nov 15 (Interfax) – The HIV rate is on the rise in Russia, according to a sanitary watchdog, which describes it as an “epidemic.” Between January and September this year more than 54,000 new HIV cases were registered, which was 7.1% up on the same period of 2012, the acting head of the Federal

RIA Novosti: Fines for Smoking in Public in Russia Take Effect

No Smoking Symbol

MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russians now face fines for smoking in public places, including near metro stations and airports, under new amendments to a broad anti-tobacco law that came into force Friday. Smoking within 15 meters (50 feet) of entrances to the metro, train stations and airports, as well as near hospitals, schools

Russians much happier than in the 1990s – poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – November 12, 2013)  Over three-fourths of Russians say they are happy, a figure that has grown by a third in the last two decades, a recent poll said. According to a study by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM), 76 percent of Russians said they were happy, RIA

Cruelty at Russian hospitals: Illegal migration – red herring

Eurasia Map

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – November 8, 2013) An Uzbek migrant in labor was initially denied entry to a Vladivostok hospital and nearly gave birth on the doorstep. Although the Investigative Committee looked into the incident, they will not be launching a criminal case. And the head of the regional

Putincare: Russia’s Alternative to Obamacare

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Voice of America – James Brooke – October 31, 2013) James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR With Obamacare dividing the U.S., I thought it my patriotic duty to do an undercover investigation of “Putincare.” My weekend did not have the drama of Solzhenitsyn’s 1967 novel “The Cancer Ward,”

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 ­

President Putin OKs Stiffer Fines for Smoking in Public

No Smoking Symbol

MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off Monday on the introduction of stiffer penalties for smoking in public as the government continues in its battle to improve health standards in the country. The law sets fines of up to 3,000 rubles ($94) for smoking in public places designated as no

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

Prisoners of the psyche: Forced psychiatry in today’s Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 16, 2013) A court last week ordered activist Mikhail Kosenko to undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment for attacking a riot police officer during the May 6, 2012 protest rally on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration. The ruling sparked concerns among rights activists that Soviet-era punitive psychiatry,

Russian Parliament Introduces Fines for Smoking in Public

No Smoking Symbol

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 15, 2013) Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved the third and final reading of a bill toughening the country’s anti-smoking legislation by introducing fines for smoking in public and encouraging minors to smoke. The bill is part of broader anti-smoking legislation that came into force in June. It

The Revolution Of The Nerds

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – October 10, 2013) The fact that a Moscow court found Mikhail Kosenko guilty of assaulting a police officer despite video evidence to the contrary didn’t exactly come as a surprise. In recent years, Russian courts have convicted Mikhail Khodorkovsky of stealing oil from himself and Aleksei Navalny of embezzling money

Top Clinic Denies Return to Soviet-Era Punitive Psychiatry

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – October 10, 2013) Russia’s top psychiatric institution held an open house Wednesday in an attempt to popularize its work, amid speculation about a revival of Soviet-style punitive psychiatry following the sentencing of an opposition protester to mandatory mental treatment. The Serbsky Center of Social and Judicial Psychiatry

Russia Gets Poor Marks for Wellbeing of its Elderly – Report

Two Babushkas file photo

(RIA Novosti – Karin Zeitvogel – WASHINGTON, September 30, 2013) Russia earns low marks on a global index that rates countries by the quality of life and wellbeing of their old folk, ranking 78th out of 91 countries in the first-ever Global AgeWatch Index released Monday. The index, which lists Sweden at number one and

Russia Climbs 8 Spots in World Happiness Report, Ranks 68th of 156

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) ­ Russia has become a relatively happier country, but it still ranks below its autocratic neighbor Belarus, according to a UN-sponsored study released by Columbia University on Monday. Russia climbed eight positions in the second annual World Happiness Report, ranking 68th of 156 countries ­ just behind Belarus

Russia failing to test vulnerable groups for HIV

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ivan Varentsov, public health expert with the Andrey Rylkov Foundation; special to RBTH – August 22, 2013) The country’s ineffective and conservative policy stymies efforts to stop the epidemic. The HIV epidemic is one of the most pressing public health problems in Russia today. According to the latest

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

Contemporary Russians cold, calculating – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 20, 2013) A serious change has occurred in the Russian mentality and political system since the breakdown of the Soviet Union, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax. Seventy-four percent of 1,600 respondents polled in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions in July said fellow citizens had changed a lot or entirely

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

Russian ICUs: death behind closed doors

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – August 19, 2013) It’s a fact of life that most Russians put up with and most expats are shocked by ­ virtually every patient in intensive care is completely cut off from the world: no visitors, no cellphones, and hardly any exceptions. The rules are so strict

Quarter of Russians allege violations of their rights in past 2 years – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW. Aug 13, 2013) Nearly half of Russians (47%) think their rights cannot be protected in the majority of cases, and 38% claim the opposite. Twenty-four percent said their rights had been breached in the past 24 months and only 7% managed to defend themselves, the Public Opinion Foundation said in comment on

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%),

‘Dissident’ Priest Stabbed to Death in Pskov

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 7, 2013) One of Russia’s most revered priests, widely considered a “dissident priest” for his strong criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church, was stabbed to death on Monday night in the northwestern town of Pskov. Pavel Adelgeim, 75, was found dead by his wife late Monday,

U.S. Rock Group Ignites New Tensions

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – August 5, 2013) The performance of popular U.S. rock band Bloodhound Gang was canceled over the weekend after one of its musicians shoved a Russian flag into his underpants at a concert in Ukraine, prompting outrage from Russian officials and calls for an investigation into the possibility

Death rate in Russia keeps decreasing – Health Minister

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – NOVO-OGARYOVO, July 30, 2013) The positive dynamic of decreasing death rate can be observed in Russia, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said. “The results of 2013 show that positive tendencies remain regardless of the flu epidemic we had in January-April,” Skvortsova said at a meeting of the State Council Presidium in Novo-Ogaryovo on

Over half of Russians uncertain of tomorrow – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 29, 2013) One in two Russians gives three (out of five) to the existing economic situation in the city, town or village where the respondent lives, the majority do not feel confidence in tomorrow and their social activity is decreasing, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax. According to the results of the

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

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