Commentary Topics

Aug 15, 2014

Vodka: market riches after communism's fall

by Alexei Bayer

Early on, Russia's Yeltsin government (1991-1999) imposed heavy tariffs on the import of medicines and staples while granting societies of the handicapped and sports clubs the ability to import vodka without tariffs. It marked a new era in the country's economic history.

Aug 12, 2014

How vodka limits hastened the USSR's demise

by Alexei Bayer

When the Soviet Union finally disintegrated at the end of 1991, Boris Yeltsin, the new Russian leader, decided not to repeat Mikhail Gorbachev's error of restricting access to vodka. Some say it was Gorbachev's sober way of life — and his attempt to impose ...