What wars, political upheavals and massive cold snaps failed to accomplish, the credit crunch appears to be doing. Russians are not drinking as much vodka as they once did.
The cause appears to be the difficulty retailers are having in finding credit to use to stock shelves with vodka. Reports from Russia's National Alcohol Association claim that distillers are now warehousing 82 million liters of vodka, up 600 percent from last year.
Distilleries are cutting back on production. They point out that Russian consumers are also tending to buy lower priced brands, reflecting the overall downturn in the economy.