The Day Russia Had No Vodka

Published April 17, 2013
Updated September 1, 2017

Celebration End Of World War 2 Moscow

Plants and animals need water to survive; Russians need vodka…and even more of it when celebrating the end of World War II and the demise of Adolph Hitler’s power. Receiving word at 1:10 am on May 9th, Muscovites took the streets–many of them in their nightgowns–to celebrate. As would be done in a Dostoevsky novel, those streets soon transformed into not canals but veritable seas of vodka. 22 hours later, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s announcement came as unintentionally sobering–it was also at this point in time that all of the city’s liquor reserves had been completely depleted.

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