35 years ago, in may 1985, the USSR began the next and last Soviet anti-alcohol campaign, which was remembered by contemporaries as one of the biggest mistakes of the Gorbachev era. She ended with the heavy economic losses and, like all previous ones, nor to no avail. In the Soviet Union again and again were taken for the eradication of drunkenness, introduced prohibitions and unfolded propaganda, why repeatedly failed in the fight with a green serpent and what it eventually led — studied “”.

On the balcony stood two huge old chest, painted marsh brown. Besides the fact that they were placed seedlings for the garden, even the very heavy cover seven year old child to raise was very difficult. But look, of course, wanted to, and one day he did it.

Panting and propping a MOP the heavy lid, he looked inside. Covered with an old yellowed Newspapers, in the chest rested a whole battery of bottles of “Wheat”. In the far corner could be seen the red-and-white label “Capital”. The chest was filled with vodka.

The family was completely teetotal. Neither the mother nor the grandmother was a drop, and only grandfather may 9 silently drank 100 grams in memory of comrades. Vodka was needed for another in order to change the washers in the tap.

This universal currency can be calculated in different places, but the most obvious scope of its application was coaxing the plumbing — that he long searched for the desired item and didn’t do it for a couple of days, and on the conscience. Plumber, of course, not hinted, but morning breath, which he smelled at the door, allowed us to make quite definite conclusions.

“Liquid currency” has always been popular in the USSR but in that time its value has increased. The country was anti-alcohol campaign, which with great fanfare, was launched in 1985, Gorbachev’s Politburo. Not that vodka — a bottle of wine to get was difficult. Liquor stores open in 14 hours, and closed at 19. In Moscow alone, their number reduced tenfold. The famous “Crystal” was sent for scrap purchased at exorbitant prices of foreign equipment, Breweries, too, are mostly idle.

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How it ended is well known. Do not speak of power then large-scale campaign against alcoholism, system, stalled, still inevitably would collapse, but this initiative has undoubtedly contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In General, of course, Soviet citizens began to drink a little less, but not because on the path of sobriety. The population was not a little embittered by such measures and quickly replaced the official alcohol illegally.

In 2015, Gorbachev in his interview to “Komsomolskaya Pravda” p��have salsa that the anti-alcohol campaign in 1985 was a mistake: “Yes, it was not necessary the trade to close and provoke moonshine. It was necessary to do everything gradually. Not with an axe on the head.” However, what was supposed to be this “progressive continuous struggle with alcoholism” — is unclear.

the “a Drunkard was drinking straight from the ditches”

To fight with a green snake in Russia tried long before the revolution. The results of such campaigns were almost always the same: introduced the sale of vodka in a sealed bottle to take away — near the benches stood up “staendige” traded “white” by the glass. Introduced prohibition with the start of the First world war — the population immediately switched to moonshine.

And the sudden coming to power of the Bolsheviks in October 1917 put them before a completely unexpected problem: the barrels filled with wine and alcohol cellars of the Winter Palace were robbed by the soldiers of the guard. Then there rushed the crowd of ordinary people. As reported by the newspaper on 24 November, the guards got drunk one after the other, and “in the evening around the cellar were many bodies without feelings.” Drunken men fired from a firearm — mainly in the air, but the victims were also.

In the end, caused detachments of sailors, who were ordered to get rid of the alcohol in the cellar in all possible ways that people have perceived in bayonets screaming “do drink and we do not give!”.

“the Wine flowed down ditches in the Neva river, soaking the snow. A drunkard was drinking straight from the ditches,” recalled Leon Trotsky in the book “My life”.

Therefore, unlike the Provisional government, which very quickly reversed the Royal prohibition to the territories they control, the Bolsheviks to abandon it did not, punishing moonshine imprisonment for five years, and for drinking alcohol in public — a period up to one year.

As he noted in his work about the anti-alcohol campaign on Kamchatka in the 1920-ies the historian Alina Kirillova, on the whole, the struggle with alcohol in the RSFSR, the USSR in the early stage of existence of the Soviet state was contradictory and was misaligned at the different levels of government. On the one hand, it was extremely tough, with a full ban on drinking and distributing alcoholic products and the desire of the center to establish an absolute monopoly on the manufacture of alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, it is practically not aged, when rublevkoy and other regional organizations that have declared the inadmissibility of the use of alcohol, on the contrary, began to actively trade. Plus there was smuggling, to deal with which Soviet power had no strength.

“the state medical publishing house”

“a Side result of the severe anti-alcohol measures in the first years of Soviet power became developeds black market moonshine, which took the character of a great public evil,” he writes in his article historian Evgeny Sherstnev.

The fact that artisanal swipes translate food in large quantities. As a result of peasant farms were abandoned, and the peasant youth, sought in the town exported there not only brew, but the habit of its use.

How effective was the fight against alcoholism in the countryside at the dawn of the USSR, shows a note of the time in the newspaper “Red world”. It was called “Ulcer of the village” and was signed by the pseudonym “Eye and ear”:

“the Violence, outrage and hooliganism on Suhonogovo the peat has developed to epic proportions. Beat anybody and anything. Even the club of peat come the neighboring peasants, boys and men and deal differently with the priest under the hands of the workers. The other day was beaten by gr. Hruscov. And he was warned that if caught a second time, if not entirely killed.

we Have the guy to leave home and live somewhere else — for example eyes. February 2, near D. Lisewo was killed by one pidhorodna friend. The reason for all these outrages is moonshine. In the neighboring villages, especially in Liwewe and Carnophage, it flows like water. The chief peat, 2nd Resp. f-ke, it is necessary to take action”.

Measures have been taken, and since 1924, despite fierce opposition, Trotsky, the country began free market state vodka, which is popularly called “rakovci”. Her fortress was 30 degrees, and it is unflattering comments of Professor Preobrazhensky in a Dog’s heart, arguing that real vodka should be forty degrees.

Sold it in bottles, liter, 250 and 100 ml. Of course, the Soviet people came up with their nicknames. The first bottle was called a “party member” and “member of the Komsomol” and the third “pioneer”.

the “life is cheerful, and hence can drink”

In the new conditions the Soviet government tried to focus on health education and therapeutic care of alcohol.

Sobering-up stations and dispensaries, who then began to build, there was little but propaganda is more than enough. Propaganda was conducted by means of the public shares and issuance of the relevant literature with frightening headlines like “Insidious enemy” or “Sounding the alarm” as well as popular science and feature films on the anti-alcohol theme.

Notable campaigns launched across the country in 1928 under the auspices of the Komsomol. In the Soviet Union throughout its history, the workers always something from someone (though not very clear by whom) required. Here and there at the demonstration kicked the kids with banners “We demand Tresposti parents!” and “Instead of vodka we buy textbooks and notebooks!”.

The children were sent to hold a meeting and to through plants in the pay day, believing that this will encourage parents to abandon the campaign in a tavern, and the children will be able to “bring dad home pay, lead to the cinema or theatre.” But the problem was that on 10 thousand inhabitants of Moscow then had 4.5 places of sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, while clubs is 0.81, libraries — 0,36, movie — 0,22, and theaters — 0,13.

Calling alcoholism “a social evil, left to the working class in the legacy of the old capitalist system”, the Bolsheviks recognized that it has become a disease “in the new era”. “As ruled in the country the party of the CPSU(b) was primarily working on the composition, and it is not spared this trouble,” — says the candidate of historical Sciences Igor Ivantsov.

the “Double line of morality”

Despite the fact that in the first years of Soviet power, the party tried to deal with alcoholism in its ranks tough measures — so, Vladimir gubernia Executive Committee decided to subject seen under the influence arrest, and in extreme cases — death, — most of these resolutions have remained on paper and not enforced.

As noted Ivantsov, according to the materials of the party control commissions, it becomes clear that the grassroots of the party-economic asset was not even mind the booze, which in turn was one of the reasons for the illicit sale of vodka from the state of trade and low efficiency in the fight against moonshine in the 20-ies.

The scale of the phenomenon illustrate the materials of the XVII Moscow supportcontrol, which took place in 1929. To sum it up, E. M. Yaroslavsky said that the results of the work of the party control commissions of the party excluded every year two to three percent of the whole. The cause of the majority (25-30%) the reviewer was quite clear: drinking.

In the early and mid 30-ies drunkenness among members of the party activists POPs up in the reports as regularly. For example, on 30 July 1934 at the depot Bugulma was organized Saturday. And what a work day without alcohol? And many of the participants brought a bottle and drank the vodka, stirring it with the wine. “Active rest” took part and party Secretary Ivanov, and the whole party organization of the depot. It was all planned in advance and money for the continuation of drinking took out of the funds derived from work on the Saturday.

All drunkards, however, severely punished, but such cases were extremely low in number. This files most often occurred as a member of the CPSU(b) Athanasius Kosenko, a party organizer of the collective farm named sheboldaeva. In February 1934 he was so heavily drunk that he could not be reached by the Plenum of the regional Committee of the CPSU(b). And, as usually happened in such cases, it brought a test case, but declared�� punishment for his misconduct he received.

Gradually the authorities began to realize that to fight alcoholism radical bans are pointless, and in the second half of the 1930-ies began to open cafes and eateries, which poured the beer and wine, and even vodka. In 1936, the press actively replicated statement Anastas Mikoyan that they used to “drink it to get drunk and forget his miserable life… Now life is cheerful. A good life drunk is not drunk. Life is cheerful, and hence can drink”.

In times of war vodka was included in the diet of soldiers is true, received “combat 100 grams,” contrary to popular belief, not all and not always. So, from may 15 to November 21, 1942, 200 grams of vodka, poured the most distinguished soldiers at the front, and the rest 100 grams were given only on holidays. Since November, these same 100 grams started to give everyone who was directly involved in the fighting, and the rest — 50 grams.

Despite the fact that, as noted in the book of Valery Ryzhov “Veselie in Russia: the Degree of the newest Russian history,” vodka in wartime regularly used by millions of people, and it has had considerable influence on the growth of alcoholism in the USSR, during Stalin’s lifetime to drink alcohol in public and to get drunk afraid of. However, after the leader’s death, this fear quickly disappeared, and his contemporaries called as the distinctive features of Khrushchev’s Soviet Union “universal friendly booze and the art of drunken dialogue.”

Unbridled drunkenness forced the Soviet government in 1958 to give birth to the next major anti-alcohol campaign (resolution of the CPSU Central Committee N 1365). Struggled with alcoholism already known methods: forbade the sale of alcohol beverages, the sale of vodka in close proximity to industrial enterprises and transport terminals, actively campaigning and shaming drunks.

“Like many political campaigns in the Soviet Union, the practice of implementation of the Resolution 1365 N of the CPSU Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers was accompanied by some ritual-symbolic action, namely the holding of mass meetings of labor and community groups, party bodies, condemning various forms of drunkenness and its consequences”, — noted in his article, doctor of historical Sciences Oleg Hasanov and Lily Galimov.

To involve in party responsibility could even the presence in the house of the coil from the distillery. As historians write, the plot of the Comedy Gaidai “Bootleggers”, released in 1961, is not a fiction. Indeed, many have tried to move production of moonshine away from crowded places — who knows what.

the Frame: the film “Caucasian captive”

This is reflected in the police reports of those years. In June 1958 near the village of koptevka caught com��omelets. Brewed in the forest Braga, and assisted that it is symbolic, “Communist collective farm "Path to communism"”. “The Communist R-VA of the collective farm named after Stalin during the search was discovered apparatus for brewing”.

Moonshiners was peachily and subjected to public censure, but, as before, imprisoned and subjected to heavy fines rare, although for the moonshine threatened to 300 roubles of a fine or imprisonment for a term up to three years. Campaigning for sobriety was to boring discussions at party meetings the provisions of the text of the resolution of the Central Committee and to what did not — after all, any specific recommendations on top public work is not reported.

That will make working in your free time? It was believed that his leisure time has to be cultural, but the budget of the average Soviet family did not regularly go to the cinema and theatre. Therefore, how to write Hasanov and Galimov, “the population acted within the framework already worked out the double line of morality and behavior: active public approval and the failure to follow the recommendations in everyday practices”.

The result the injunction was quite natural: the closing of most of the taverns and places a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in bottling have resulted in the displacement of booze in the yards and gardens. And the output is a drink of citizens on the streets also led to logical consequences: intensification of antisocial behavior. Yes, and the volume of alcohol consumed has increased dramatically — it is one thing to drink in an establishment where alcohol must be ordered, the other bought all the “bubbles” and thump to the last.

the “Without vodka Russian can’t live”

“Which is better — the bondage of foreign capital or the introduction of vodka — that was the question before us, — said Joseph Stalin in 1927. — It is clear that we stayed on vodka, because we believed and continue to believe that if we are for the victory of the proletariat and the peasantry have little to vypekatsya in the mud, we will go to this extreme means for the sake of our cause”.

Indeed, the alcoholic source of income to the budget of the country has always been one of the largest. Therefore, Khrushchev’s anti-alcohol campaign caused the economy a huge blow, and already in 1963 the sale of liquor bottling resumed, and in greater volume, which grew steadily and in the Brezhnev era — with all the attendant anti-social consequences.

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In his memoirs, foreign Minister of the USSR Andrei Gromyko mentions the conversation with Brezhnev, in which he tried to convince the Secretary to change the situation.

— We ought to do something, said Gromyko, is that the country is less consumed alcoholic beverages. So a lot of us drink, hence the increase of crime, traffic possestVij, injuries in the workplace and in everyday life, the collapse of families.

Leonid Brezhnev revived and confidently replied:

— You know, Russian people both drank, and will drink. Without vodka he cannot live, ‘ replied Brezhnev.

Nevertheless, something was necessary to do, and in 1972 was published the decree of the Presidium of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet “On strengthening the struggle against drunkenness and alcoholism”. In its framework was raised the price of alcohol, stopped the production of very strong vodka 50 and 60 degrees, which was started after the war, and to sell beverages of a strength of more than 30 degrees is allowed strictly from 11 to 19 hours. Gone spirits and of food service establishments, except restaurants, and during the holidays the trade was generally prohibited.

As this resolution was executed, easy to guess. A vivid example can be found in the paper “Gorkovskaya Pravda”, which had published articles regarding violations by employees of stores directives of the party and the government. For example, shop No. 13, second pischetorg of Nagorny, near which in the morning until late at night “are grouped drinkers” — and it is not accidental.

“Although the sign that the vodka sold from 11 to 19, but on the shelves since yesterday exhibited dense rows of vodka,” — says the correspondent of the publication.

A similar situation exists in other shops in the city. The newspaper says that the wine at such points on sale “with the butt”, that is, with a scoop of ice cream, “but it’s not a standard Cup, and a shapeless mass, which the saleswoman is not very clean hands, peel of the total weight”. Hence, there is a famous Soviet anecdote about alcoholics who choose how much they take three or two. By staying on two, drunkards say to the shop assistant: “Two of a Lollipop, and three bottles of vodka.”

The result of these activities, which included traditional propaganda-preventive measures, which include lectures with the promotion of sobriety and propeciacialis drunks in front of a group of enterprises, has become the same as before: Brezhnev “they drink and will drink”.

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In Andropov’s time particularly loud statements were not made, however, was fought a tough fight with the drunks on the streets: in order to improve production discipline, the police took them off the streets and out of the wine and spirits shops companions, who at that time was supposed to be at work. “Now it’s hard to believe, but in Ryazan, where I was drunk in those days instead of having to demonstrate their prowess, hiding from passers-by was in a public place loudly say: "Look, he’s drunk!" as there appeared from somewhere a policeman,” — says Valery Ryzhov in his book “Fun in Russia”.

Ryzhov notes that the population perceived such measures is quite positive: vodka m��lo that was not forbidden — it is even cheaper. And this word the people were decoded as “That’s What He Kind — Andropov”.

the “Will be worse”

And then came 1985. Came to power relatively young Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev, and after two months in the Soviet Union began the offensive in the country’s history, a campaign against alcoholism.

“the Special importance of strict adherence to the principles of Communist morality and ethics, overcoming bad habits and remnants, first of all to such ugly phenomena as drunkenness,” — reads the text of the party document “On measures to overcome drunkenness and alcoholism”.

“Understand, in the years preceding the beginning of the campaign, the people were real loose. People still Brezhnev wrote bitter letters: "the terms of drunkenness — children do not know drunken, disappearing somewhere parents and parents do not remember the children". Entirely divorce”, I justified this campaign Gorbachev in an interview to “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. He also mentioned that his wife Raisa had told him: “Listen, something crazy is happening. Need something to do. The people perish!”

Then everything went the same scenario. The reading of the decision on thousands of party meetings, under the stormy and prolonged applause, clearly endorsing the initiative of the resolution.

Actively engaged in culture and media, and with characteristic Soviet Union rollicking scale. Of the films seized scenes of drinking alcohol, and even in the Bolshoi theatre withdrew the Opera “Boris Godunov”. A bunch of musical and literary works was in the junk list just for the title, causing the Association with drinking alcohol. Even with the famous photo of Gagarin have removed the glass in his hand.

As usual, decided to — to lay and to promote a sober lifestyle. Contemporaries should remember article academician corner, in which he spoke about the inadmissibility of the use of alcohol, in principle, that drunkenness is not inherent to the Russian people. The party easily expelled from the Communist party for the use of alcohol in the workplace, demanding entry into the temperance Society in the voluntary-compulsory order.

Of course, all of this led to the opposite results. While first Secretary of the Moscow city Committee of the CPSU Victor Grishin reported about the “sobering of Moscow”, covering a large number of alcohol shops, people lived their lives, in which the bottle is still here. And although she was a real “liquid currency”, to get it was possible — imposed trading rules were violated almost everywhere, and people cooked and ate surrogates. Some was killed.

In conditions when the liquor store opened at 14 hours, and any drunk on the street had enough police to write the draconian penalty of to 100 roubles or arrest for 15 days, people have quit drinking is not wanted. In this they were helped by taxi drivers, which are sold at exorbitant prices a treasured bottle from the trunk if hours-long assault on the liquor store ended in failure. Alcohol-containing medications in pharmacies did not stay long. In General, the standard rollicking-sprititually strategy once again did not work, although the extent of this time were just huge.

Strict measures have been weakened by the fall, and the stores began to open up with the usual for that time of 11 hours, but the campaign continued. Perhaps the most idiotic its consequence was cutting almost a third of the acreage of vineyards in the Soviet Union. The instructions for this top and no one gave, but in the field, as usually happens, the initiative of the party understood in their own way and did their best.

Economic damage from the prohibition were felt until the mid-90s. Only for the first year of the anti-alcohol campaign the Soviet budget has missed 37 billion rubles, and also damaged relations with allies sotsbloka — Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary could not be put in the Union of wine and was extremely dissatisfied with this.

“The sober up companies can not carry out assaults was recognized by Gorbachev in 2015. — It takes years. And we must fight continuously, constantly. I think, and now we must fight with alcoholism. If we drop it will be even worse.”

Although the Ministry of health like to talk about what alcohol consumption in Russia is declining (according to who by 43 per cent since 2003 to 2016), the situation is not so rosy as we would like the officials. In reality, say, in 2019, the sale of alcohol in our country grew by 4.6 per cent in monetary terms. On the one hand, young people are definitely drinking less than previous generations at their age, on the other — when Russia was declared the weekend due to the coronavirus, the residents of Yakutia for two days drank a week’s supply of alcohol. We decided to fight antiquated methods: introduced another prohibition. However, shortly after the recommendations of the Ministry of industry and trade that was cancelled.