Soviet Union: Drying Out in Moscow

Drying Out in Moscow

Soviet citizens barely had time last week to react to rare television footage of General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev mingling with people on the streets of Leningrad, trading one-liners and urging greater work discipline, when they were asked to digest another, more jarring piece of news: a sweeping crackdown on a national pastime -- drinking. The decree raises the drinking age from 18 to 21, delays the daily opening of liquor stores by three hours, calls for a gradual cut in vodka production and an eventual ban on port, which the Soviets consume in huge quantities. The measure also prescribes harsh penalties...

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