Soviet Union: Moonshine on The Volga

Moonshine on The Volga

In the two years since Mikhail Gorbachev cracked down on alcohol consumption in the Soviet Union, many liquor outlets have closed, and legal production of vodka has been scaled back 30%. The Soviet leader claims that as a result crime is down significantly.

Meanwhile, thirst is up. Soviet officials revealed last week that 200,000 people were prosecuted in 1986 for illegally making their own booze. Soviet moonshining has traditionally been confined largely to rural folks, but last year 40% of the offenders were urban dwellers. Half were under 30, and many were housewives concocting homemade vodka, or samogon, to pay for...

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