It’s sometimes hard to tell if a story is hopeful or grim, and certainly the recent dispatch from Russia in Time is puzzling in just this way.
There's no surprise in reading that Russia is ravaged by alcoholism, though the specifics are jolting:
alcohol poisoning has helped lead to a population decline. In January, The Moscow Times reported that the reason for so many deaths is that 300 million liters of substances never intended for human consumption are drunk annually
People are drinking perfume, for crying out loud.
The bright side: the remedy involves cooking up batches of homemade hooch in stove-top stills.
Nikolai Gusev takes the prize for the most ironical comment of the week: “I don't do this to get drunk.”