Some are concerned that the price hike will only exacerbate Russia's problem with illegal bootleg vodka, which has long been a dangerous contributor to drinking-related deaths. Historically, whenever Russia has tried to combat excessive drinking, sales of illicit alcohol have risen.
Rosspirtprom, a government-owned company, oversees more than 100 vodka distilleries and controls a large percentage of the Russian market. So while the new measure may prove ineffective in controlling the national drinking problem, the government will likely see increased revenue.
The word "vodka" is the diminutive form of the Russian word for water, voda, which shows how important this spirit is to the culture. In fact, three of our choices for the top ten vodkas in the world hail from Mother Russia, more than any other country.
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