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Russian winter warmer, booze deaths down

A man rides kitesurfing on the unfrozen Finnish Gulf in St.Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Unusual for January, the relatively high temperatures have prevented the formation of ice on rivers and lakes around St.Petersburg. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
March 05, 2020 - 8:44 AM

MOSCOW - Winter has been unusually mild in much of Russia this season and the number of deaths from alcohol consumption declined. An alcohol policy group says the two developments are connected.

The National Center for Alcohol Policy Development said Thursday that accidental deaths from alcohol poisoning in Russia were down 37% in January compared to the same month a year ago. The centre said 619 people died from alcohol in January, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

Interfax quoted centre director Pavel Shapkin as saying less severe winter weather reduces “the alcohol burden on the population. As a result, the negative consequences of alcohol use go down sharply.”

This winter has been the warmest ever recorded in Russia, with Moscow seeing little snow and temperatures generally staying above freezing.

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