The Ruble Is So Bad You Can Buy a Bottle of Vodka for $2.64
Minimum price lowered for the first time in years despite inflation.
MOSCOW— -- Prices on everything here from cars to food are soaring, as the ruble tumbles to new lows and Russia’s economy stumbles toward recession. Inflation, despite price controls in some sectors, is reaching double digits.
Yet Russian authorities have just lowered the government-regulated minimum price of vodka for the first time in years.
Now, a half-liter of vodka, slightly more than a pint, can be had for as little as 185 rubles, or about $2.64, according to today’s exchange rate. That’s down 16 percent from the previous price of 220 rubles, about $3.14.
The minimum price began last year at 89 rubles for a half-liter and was increased twice, according to the Moscow Times.
Ostensibly, the new price cut is aimed at reducing Russians’ fast-growing consumption of potentially dangerous homemade spirits. which are cheaper.
But the decision is a surprising about-face for Russian leaders. In recent years, led by President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minster Dimitri Medvedev, they have been encouraging Russians to drink less as part of an effort to combat low life expectancy, which is partly blamed on high rates of alcohol consumption.
A British report published last year found that Russian men who drink large amounts of vodka were at “extraordinarily” high risk of early death. A quarter of Russian men die before age 55, compared to about 10 percent in the United States and, according to the author of the study, the average Russian adult drinks an astonishing 20 liters of vodka per year, or more than 5 gallons.
The average Russian male is expected to live barely past 70 years, according to the World Bank. In the United States, the average male lives over 78 years.
Republican base sounds ready for Trump's promised 'retribution,' with some exceptions
- Feb 25, 8:07 AM
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events