Soviet Union Fighting the Battle of the Bottle

Gorbachev's campaign to curb abuses leaves drinkers thirsty

It was Friday afternoon and the crowd outside the door of Moscow liquor store No. 21 had grown to about 200. The line was especially long because the weekend lay ahead, when it would be impossible to buy a bottle of liquor except on the black market. When the doors opened promptly at 2, the people began inching their way to the shabby counter to buy their vodka. A young man in a padded jacket of the kind usually worn by laborers had been waiting in line since midday to purchase his bottle. "The new antialcohol measures are a hardship for...

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