Russia’s economy is crashing, but Putin knows how to save his job


Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to rein in rising vodka prices, as he battles to preserve his popularity amid an aggravating economic crisis.

Putin told a meeting with government officials and regional governors on Wednesday that expensive vodka prices encourage the production of bootleg spirits, which carry greater risks to people’s health than legally produced alcohol.

Russia is facing its worst economic crisis since 1998, when the country devalued the rouble and defaulted on its debt.

Putin’s popularity is partly based on his reputation for providing prosperity and stability.

Yes, but he’s hollowed out the pumpkin.   It’s the start of the end for him now.

“The overshoot of vodka prices leads only to increasing consumption of bootleg [spirits],” said Putin, who is known for promoting a healthy lifestyle. “I think the relevant structures [government bodies] should think of that,” he added.

According to a study by leading international universities last year, a quarter of all Russian men die before they reach their mid-fifties, and their high consumption of alcoholic beverages – particularly vodka – is partly to blame.

The government-regulated minimum retail price of half a litre of vodka has been increased by around 30 percent since last year to 220 roubles (US$4), Reuters reported.

This is the Russian equivalent of John Key ordering all All Black merchandise and game tickers to be sold at $20 each.   It will be a popular move, but it isn’t going to fix any problems.

Are Russian voters that shallow?


– Reuters

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.