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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  • Just as shallow as a half-litre bottle of vodka, apparently. But I worked out, when I was in Ukraine, that it was around $5 (Kiwi) for a litre bottle of vodka (and good stuff, not what we think of as vodka). The male mortality rate is really odd, given almost all other international trends (and it’s a common problem across the Soviet Disunion). Still, if I had regular access to good vodka at $5 a pop (which, is, however, a lot of money in Eastern Europe), I’d probably die quite young as well.

    • conwaycaptain

      Also Redqueen Russia has MORE abortions than Live Births and they are losing 1 million people per annum from the work force. Soon China will be able to walk in and take Siberia and all its riches.

  • conwaycaptain

    To stay in power Vlad the invader has to keep the Russian People Happy, the Oligarchs happy and the Military Happy.
    How will he do this with a plunging rouble, plunging oil sales, Rising food prices etc.
    I think that there is the distinct possibility of a coup.

    • dgrogan

      All the ingredients there to encourage another invasion, sadly. Aren’t wars supposed to be good for an economy? I think America might have something to say in support of that economic theory.

  • cows4me

    They never learn do they, vodka this week toilet paper next week.