How they drank in the Soviet Union

How they drank in the Soviet Union

The love of drinking in Russia is a constant. They drank in tsarist times, and in times of revolution, and in the Soviet Union. Drink to this day

Budget basis

It so happened that in almost all times in Russia there was a tolerant attitude towards excessive consumption of alcohol. Drunkenness to some extent even encouraged. And it is clear why ... So, by the 1850s, the tsarist government received almost half of tax revenues from the sale of vodka.

In the beer. Painting Makovsky V.E.

After the 1917 revolution, Lenin imposed restrictions on the sale of alcohol. However, the ban did not last long. Soon after the death of Ilyich, Stalin canceled everything. By selling alcohol, the budget began to receive funds for socialist industrialization.


In the Moldavian village

Wine is a joy given to us

“The people should drink wine,” Stalin said, and immediately added: “Do not work without bread, do not dance without wine!”

Drinking was not a threat to society. Probably because he loved to drink. Most often, Stalin drank homemade wine “Kindzmarauli”, supplied by Georgian collective farmers. And he drank a lot, but did not get drunk and deftly used alcohol for his own purposes.Usually, appointing new persons to positions of responsibility, he invited them to the country for lunch or dinner. He offered to drink for a new appointment. For those invited, it was a great honor. The guests grew hopy, became more and more talkative and, like a spirit, they laid out to the “master”, who and what he said was unflattering about his policy.


Feast with the participation of Stalin I. V.

Stoparik on the chest

After the war, in the fifties, in all cities of the USSR, snack bars sold alcohol on tap. Tellingly, such eateries opened near the enterprises. There you could always have a quick bite, and anyone could drink a glass of vodka. However, buying a stoparik, a person had to buy dumplings or chops as well.

After the war, in the fifties, in all cities of the USSR, snack bars sold alcohol on tap.

Perhaps it was because of this that in those days there were no drunks lying in the dirt on the street.

In the Soviet beer

Like a little glass

After the death of Stalin, Khrushchev came to power in the country. Exposing the cult of personality, Khrushchev left intact the Stalinist tradition of wide Kremlin feasts. Under him, they acquired a truly epic scope.On especially solemn days in the Kremlin, they drank and ate from three to ten thousand people.


Khrushchev N.S. during the feast

Khrushchev himself preferred cognac and vodka to all other drinks (especially vodka, which he was specially sent from the Ukraine), and respected lard and pickles as a snack.

- Under Khrushchev, drinking became a custom. "Sam" also drank a lot, but did not get drunk. He was strong, - recalled Mikhail Smirtyukov, the former head of the Sovmin’s affairs. “Once, Nikolai Bulganin told me that he and Nikita somehow drank a bottle of brandy,“ polished ”all this with vodka and went to the presidium for a rally - and at least that! Like a piece of glass!


Khrushchev N.S. drinking from the horn

Think for three

However, Nikita Sergeevich drank his drink, but did not forget about the state treasury. In 1958, Khrushchev forbade selling vodka for bottling in canteens and snack bars catering. After the ban prices for alcohol soared instantly. Soviet citizens, deprived of the usual glasses of vodka on the way home from work, were forced to buy a whole bottle from the store.

Sitting in the kitchen

For convenience and economy, Soviet citizens realized that if there is not enough money for a drink, you can fold.This event - drinking a collective bottle of vodka with unfamiliar citizens in the nearest public garden - was called “figure out for three” and became a kind of brand of Soviet drinkers.


Figured on three

For world peace

After the overthrow of Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was elected General Secretary. The beginning of the era of stagnation and feasts is associated with his name. Under Brezhnev, the country washed down blackly. The economy of the USSR was fueled by the sale of oil in the foreign market and vodka in the domestic.

(Here the author repeats the well-known liberal myth of the tremendous dependence of the USSR economy on oil exports.)


Wedding feast

By the 1970s, alcohol sales accounted for a third of government revenue. Alcohol consumption in the period from 1955 to 1979 increased by more than two times, reaching 15.2 liters per person.


Merry company in nature

In these years, the Soviet alcohol industry was flourishing, enriched by the recipes of Siberian and Posolskoy, as well as two types of vodka caps - screw and “visorless”.

The Secretary General has introduced luxuriant banquets. At the Epicurean receptions in the Kremlin, up to 2,500 people gathered to drink for world peace and "personally dear Leonid Ilyich."


Brezhnev L.I. drinking with US President Nixon

"Either sick, or podluka"

In 1975, after a heart attack and stroke, Brezhnev almost quit. But even then, the secretary general did not stop drinking the medicine with Vibe, saying that it would be better absorbed. The 18-year period of his reign, economists later call the "era of stagnation", and the jokers - "the era of the feast."

“If a politician does not drink, he is either ailing or a wimp,” said the late former first secretary of the Orenburg Regional Committee of the CPSU, twice Hero of Social Labor Ivan Kovalenko.


Brezhnev L.I. during the feast

Advantages and disadvantages

Anyway, by the beginning of the 1980s, alcoholism in the USSR became the number one social problem and ranked third among illnesses after cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

In May 1985, Gorbachev announced the start of a large-scale anti-alcohol campaign in the USSR. Gorbachev’s plan was quite decisive and effective. In the USSR, the birth rate increased, wives began to see their husbands more often, and labor productivity increased.

However, like many Soviet initiatives, the anti-alcohol campaign had both pluses and minuses. After the spike in alcohol prices and the decline in its production, many people began to drive moonshine, while others poisoned themselves with poisonous liquids, such as antifreeze.

The discontent of the population with the Gorbachev anti-alcohol campaign summed up the old Soviet anecdote:

It is a long line for vodka. One man could not stand it and said: “Everything, I will go to the Kremlin, I will kill Gorbachev!” An hour passes, he returns. The queue starts asking him: “Well, did he kill him?” “How, then,” he answers. “There is a queue of people who want to be even longer than here!”

Drink less

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, the state monopoly on alcohol was abolished, which led to an enormous increase in the supply of alcoholic beverages on the market. In 1993, alcohol consumption reached 14.5 liters of pure alcohol per person, and Russia became one of the largest consumers of alcohol in the world.

Well now, you ask, how now? Now they began to drink less. However, the reduction in alcohol consumption should not be associated with the growth of self-consciousness of Russian citizens. According to experts, the reduction in the consumption of strong drinks in modern Russia is primarily due to an increase in the fleet. At work and from work - behind the wheel, and it is obligatory. Yes, and I want to live. Most understand that to get behind the wheel as a drunk is to get a pass to the next world.

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  • How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union

    How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union How they drank in the Soviet Union