Thursday, 7 November 2013

The dwindling Russian population


Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev-Man of Year, Man of Decade as presented and honoured by Time Magazine. He was also winner of Nobel Prize of Peace 1990. Gorbachev was a known reformist but was generally regarded as a softie by  his people who wanted a fast-paced change to embrace democracy. His announcement of giving up the Brezhnev Doctrine in 1988 allowed the popular upheavals in Eastern Europe throughout 1989, in which Communism was overthrown.


According to a recent Russian census count, the population of the former totalitarian Stalinist nation had been steadily going down. The reason was poignantly simple; it was attributed  all to excessive consumption of the country’s famous past time: Vodka drinking. In the 80s when reformist Mikhail Gorbachev was in power (1985-1991), he closed several state-run Vodka wineries and raised the price of the alcohol so as to reduce rampant addiction of the liquor, which had been anonymous with Russians. For that matter, the Russians began to live averagely 3 years longer than in the past. However there were widespread objection among the citizens of all ages to Gorbachev’s tough implementing with regards to Vodka consumption. Eventually innumerable moonshiners sprout all over the countries with much lower cost of production to sell much cheaper but poor quality Vodka to the general mass,  thus causing the death of half a million Russians within 6 years. The average life expectancy for Russians had then been shortened to 7 years.
 
                  
                                 
Yeltsin was remembered with his charismatic, affable smile. He had always gone upstage to dance when there were public performances, though he danced awkwardly like a clown, he had no inhibition but continued to woo his followers.
               
You do it my way and I'll assure you that your retirement days will be taken care
of. Yeltsin had been seen taking away Gorbachev's microphone on stage. He was a rash and impatient man to brash aside others' opinion.

           

Notorious drunkard Boris Yeltsin took over the realm as Russian President in 1991 (till 1999). It was a tumultuous time for the nation and the people were highly traumatized with Russia facing drastic changes towards a more modern, democratic rule. Smaller provinces began to disintegrate from the federation to become breakaway, independent nations. There were skirmishes, confrontations, terror-style bombings and even a mutiny took place to disturb the otherwise peaceful country. Being emotional highly strung and pressurized, the people turned to more Vodka to numb themselves of what was going on around them. According to an UN health survey, toxic alcoholism during the 1980s and 1990s was the cause of one in three Russian male deaths. Dreaded alcohol related incidents like murders, manslaughters and suicides, disputes and quarrels, motor accidents, and resulted ill-health conditions contributed to more unnecessary deaths and misery to the Russian society.  
 
A variety of Vodka of different price range and packing.
President Yeltsin had rounds of beer-drinking
with his supporters.
Russian Orthodox funeral in progress.
The current Russian strong man President Putin
 attended a doubtful funeral.  (Not certain who died)

Well-known population study and census expert Fred Pearce announces his finding on Russian population trends that a Russian male will only live averagely up to 59 years only, ranking 164 in life expectancy in the world. For the Russian ladies, surprisingly the difference is vast; they are expected to live up to 73 averagely.  Do the Russian women drink Vodka? Oh yes, for sure they do. They drink during the bad or good times, and during or after their domestic problems surfaced. However the Russian ladies are more adaptable and susceptible to emotional and situation changes, coupled with the demises of their problematic drunkard husbands and men, they are bound to live much longer and happier, to a ripe age. Hallelujah! God is great!

Cheers to us old folks!
You men drink like there's no tomorrow.
We'll show you the women power!
Come drink with me! Young ladies also
couldn't do without Vodka.
 
Footnotes: Some facts are obtained from Chinese Newsprint.
Alan CY Kok

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