Russia Has a Vodka Addiction. So Does Putin—But Not in the Same Way.

From a story on by Mark Lawrence Schrad headlined “Russia Has a Vodka Addiction. So Does Vladimir Putin—But Not the Same Way.”:

Of the dozens of vodka factories strung across Russia’s 11 time zones, the crown jewel of the Russian liquor industry is the Kristall distillery in downtown Moscow, birthplace of the world-famous Stolichnaya brand. Founded in 1901 as “Moscow State Wine Warehouse No. 1,” the iconic red-brick factory just two miles due east of the Kremlin fueled Tsar Nicholas II’s vodka monopoly, providing the largest revenue source for the Russian empire. The splendor of the house of Romanov — sprawling, opulent palaces full of amber, gold and jewels — was largely built atop the bloated livers and drunken poverty of the Russian peasantry.