The Time Russia Ran Out of Vodka
Written by Roneel Narayan on March 9, 2022
At 1:10 a.m. on May 9, 1945, night owls in the USSR heard a radio report that Nazi Germany had officially surrendered to the Soviet Union.
Rather than wait until morning to celebrate, citizens took to the streets in their pyjamas. The revelry reached such a fever pitch that by the time Joseph Stalin addressed the nation 22 hours later, the Soviets faced a new crisis: The entire country had run out of vodka!
It turns out a nationwide hangover was a small price to pay for peace in Europe. As one reporter put it, “I was lucky to buy a litre of vodka at the train station when I arrived because it was impossible to buy any later … There was no vodka in Moscow on May 10; we drank it all.”