How they drank in the USSR.


Many people who are familiar with the USSR only from films and posters believe that only sportsmen and fans of a healthy lifestyle lived in this country who started the morning with exercise, the song "We Are Greeted with Coolness by Morning", and the factory took a lunch break at production gymnastics. However, in fact, in the USSR there were a lot of chronic alcoholics who drank at enterprises as well.
By the way, this problem appeared here and there in Soviet films - to recall at least the textbook "Afonya", in which the life of the average Soviet alcoholic is very well shown - came from village to city, got a job where the authorities tolerant to drunks (endures "reprimands" and "warnings" instead of firing immediately) and thumps from boredom, not knowing how to occupy your free time.
Such "Athos" were very often in the USSR, and in the years of perestroika, the phenomenon became almost widespread. To overcome drunkenness, several anti-alcohol campaigns were being introduced in the late USSR, but they all did not lead to anything good.
So, in this post - the story of how they drank in the USSR.
02Who and how to drink in the USSR? Hot drinks were very popular among the "hegemon class", which the workers and peasants considered to be in the USSR - the state propaganda attributed to them all kinds of non-existent merits, which the representatives of these classes supposedly differed from "filthy bourgeoisie", "urban burghers" and "soft-bodied intellectuals".
In contrast to the times of tsarist Russia (where they drank, mostly during off-hours), many workers in the USSR drank directly in the workplace, and stable teams of drinking companions were formed at the enterprises. Unlike capitalist countries, where a drunkard would have been fired long ago for low output and a large number of marriages, in the USSR they were “nursed” and fired only in exceptional cases (serious emergency, etc.).
At the same time, from time to time all sorts of "anti-alcohol five-minute sessions" and rallies were held, but they did not have a special impact on drunks - drunks themselves could happily walk around with a poster "drunkenness - battle!", Get a well-deserved day off and have a good drink about it .

03. How exactly did you drink at the plants? Part of the alcoholic beverages rushed through the checkpoint before the shift for joint drinking them right at the factory,while another part could be purchased at a nearby store during the lunch break — such a strategy was determined by the fact that the liquor in the stores began to be sold at 11 am, i.e. after the start of the work shift.
During the lunch break, it was possible to “catch up” and just have a beer in one of the many “standing pivnukhs” that existed in large numbers in the late USSR - for example, I well remember such beer houses in Minsk on Surganov Street, there were already two of them one at the intersection with Kolas street, and the second a little further, near the supermarket "Riga". Beer there was released in large heavy circles or in the container brought by the buyer - most often liter or three-liter cans.

04. To combat drunkenness, the authorities announced anti-alcohol campaigns in the USSR several times. Usually, when people talk about the animated alcohol campaign in the USSR, they mean the most recent, announced by Gorbachev in 1985-1990, but in fact there were several campaigns - the prohibition of 1918-1923, the campaign of 1929, the campaign of 1958 and the campaign of 1972 .
The Gorbachev campaign of 1985-1990 was perhaps the most ambitious of all. It is believed that it began after a letter that was written by a group of scientists from the Novosibirsk Academgorodok to the Central Committee of the CPSU.The letter described in detail the extent of alcoholism in the USSR, cited statistics of people who died from alcoholism, the extent of economic losses, etc.
What was the "anti-alcohol campaign"? Distillery plants and shops began to close in large numbers in the country, while prices for alcohol increased significantly. Wine producers suffered most of all - as ancient vineyards were destroyed as part of the anti-alcohol company. Some of the wine farms (for example, in Georgia) can not recover until now.
As a result, alcohol became a terrible deficit, huge queues lined up for him, people bought alcohol by boxes “in reserve”.

05. And from time to time, on the streets, for example, they could sell port for bottling - I think this was done semi-legally, by agreement with the local authorities. Sometimes cunning people could use alcohol to sell tragic events - for example, during the accident at Chernobyl in 1986, a rumor was launched that red wine allegedly "removed radiation", and they immediately began to sell it in Kiev for tap, the company.

06. At the time of the anti-alcohol companies, the so-called "non-alcohol weddings and birthdays" were held - exemplary celebrations of Komsomol members who were allegedly not served alcohol.In fact, at such holidays, alcohol was often still present, only in a hidden form - in teapots under the guise of tea or (vodka) under the guise of birch sap.
Photo exemplary non-alcoholic wedding - on the tables there are no bottles of alcohol, but only jugs with all sorts of juices and fruit drinks.

07. To eliminate the alcohol shortage, the population began to produce alcoholic beverages on a mass basis independently - diluted medical alcohol from enterprises was used, all alcohol-containing liquids, as well as cases of moonsharing increased exponentially.
Moonshine devices were of various forms and designs, they were installed either at home (which was associated with risk), or in neutral territory - for example, in a nearby forest. When such "partisan factories" were discovered, the police often set up an ambush to detain samohonschiki.
In the photo - drawing up a protocol for moonshine with a talking "evidence" in the foreground:

08. Among those who want to eat something, perfumery products - colognes, lotions, medical alcohol tinctures - were used as well.For some reason, the "Triple Cologne" was particularly popular - perhaps because it was sold in large containers and had a pleasant lemon smell. Cologne was most often diluted with water 1 to 1, but especially "advanced" individuals could drink cologne and undiluted.

09. For the drunks caught on the street, there were also special medical institutions - sobering centers. Drunk people caught on the street by the police or voluntary warriors were delivered there. In the sobering-up station, the paramedic examined the drunkard, his personality was established, after which he was left there until the sobering up. In some cases, “additional measures” such as a cold shower could also be applied.
This is how the detox room looked like:

And if to speak in essence, both anti-alcohol campaigns, and all these “non-alcoholic weddings”, and rallies with placards struggled with the investigation, and not with the reason - as a whole tolerant attitude to drunks in the USSR and the lack of opportunities for the Soviet person to somehow realize yourself in life. People drank from boredom and from the impossibility of escaping from the circle of the house-plant-house.
If in the 30s-40s, the mere presence of work at the factory was impacted by a feeling of satisfaction with life, then at 70-80 it did not cause such satisfaction — especially compared to the life of the same simple workers in "capitalist countries" who had much more opportunities. .
With the end of the USSR, the problem of drinking in enterprises began to disappear by itself.
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