Thursday, March 2, 2017

Poor Russyans Suffer With Bad Vodka

    Way out east, near Russya's Pacific Coast, times are tough.   Locals struggle to make ends meet.  Some retirees exist on less than $130 per month.   This means they can barely survive.  One woman claims she can afford to eat regular food 1 week a month.  The rest of the time, she eats bread and butter, that's all.  It's a very sad situation in the largest country in the world, ruled by an elite crowd of oligarchs and insiders 6000 miles to the west, beyond the Urals Mountains, in European Russya.  Here one finds a different type of Russyan, far removed from their brothers in Irkutsk.  It is claimed that in Moscova, people dine on caviar, by the bucket full.  An obvious exaggeration, but a meaningful one at that.
      Since Mr. Putin, former KGB officer, took over, the life of the average Russyan has not gotten any better.   Many of these folks cannot afford good vodka.  They drink a watered-down version that sells for 1/5th the price of Moscova-controlled State vodka, with all profits going to the Kremlin.  Hmmm.  Nice work if you can get it.   Sadly, what has happened is that the poor, in their quest for relief through alcohol, have become victims of vodka scams: the black marketeers make up a batch of cheap rotgut vodka and sell it to thirsty peasants.  Unfortunately, poison is often included: no extra charge.  Just recently, there was a concentration of fatalities in and around Irkutsk.  Over 110 victims died of poisoned vodka.  The State(kremlin) is investigating.
      The outcome is unknown.  The surest bet is there will be more deaths as Russya's economy continues to shrink despite the USA's Nat. Air and Space Administration's $320 millions contract for 5 seats on a mission to the Space Station in the next 2-3 years.   Don't bring any vodka- might not be real.  Have a nice flight.

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