There is no difference between alcoholism and terrorism, declared Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
In an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, Kadyrov argued that alcoholism kills up to three times as many people as terrorism.
“An alcohol addict has no family, no motherland, no state – he is a burden,” Kadyrov said. “He can’t control himself: he can easily beat his wife and children and throw them out of the house. Or he can drink and drive his car, killing himself and other people.”
The official went so far as to say that vodka should be banned. The sale of alcohol in Chechnya is already limited to two hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
“If there were no duties on alcohol, it would have been banned years ago,” Kadyrov said. “The Duma would have issued such a law were it not for important people who draw big money from alcohol sales. I haven’t violated a single law banning alcohol sales.”
Kadyrov added that he does not know how vodka tastes, as he has never tried it.
Russia’s chief medical officer, Gennady Onishchenko, says a ban would not work. He argued that a bottle of vodka should cost no less than $100 to bring down the number of drinkers. Vodka now costs around $3.
There are currently 1.7 million registered alcoholics in Russia, 40 percent of them women.
President Dmitry Medvedev has long declared war against alcoholism and drug addiction, especially among children and teenagers.
A law signed by Medvedev on July 20 prohibits shop sales of beer at night (between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.) and alcohol advertising in general. It also introduced fines for drinking beer in various public places.
Earlier the State Duma qualified the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors as a criminal offense. The bill deems the repeated sale of alcohol to minors to be a crime punishable by a fine of up to $2,860, or up to one year of mandatory labor.
According to Rospotrebnadzor, two out of three Russian children aged 13 to 16 regularly consume alcohol, mostly beer and bottled cocktails.