Mikhail Gorbachev tried to get Russia on the wagon. He failed
Mikhail Gorbachev is remembered for presiding over the collapse of the Soviet Union, which happened 30 years ago on 26 December 1991.
In the houses of his neighbours, the team found a further 240 litres of moonshine, including three bottles prepared and ready for consumption that very day.
Although Gorbachev was one of a new cadre of leaders that were teetotal, the idea was not his own, writes Vladislav M. Zubok in his book Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union.
The authorities, he explained, eager to demonstrate their effectiveness to the new leadership, overreacted.
In 1972 the price of vodka was raised and alcohol sales before 11 am were banned.
But each time the measures were ultimately eased, and alcohol consumption once again rocketed, particularly in the countryside.
Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign was shelved in 1988 — at the insistence of his economic advisors - and as the Soviet Union collapsed, alcohol production was liberalised along with everything else.
“But life expectancy increased, fertility increased, mortality decreased.