Ukraine: The vodka vending machine

News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring


Authorities in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol are investigating how a vodka vending machine was installed in the middle of the town centre.

The device had been converted from a coffee machine and accepted banknotes and coins, according to state-owned Ukrainian TV channel UT1. One shot of vodka cost just 7.50 hryvnia ($1; £0.59). The machine even dispensed a range of fruit juice mixers.

Ukrainian tax inspectors are not amused, says UT1, and want to interview the owners of this "wonder machine" in connection with suspected illegal trade in alcohol.

Experts quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency estimate that 35% of all vodka sold in Ukraine in 2012 was unlawfully produced. This means "every second glass and every second bottle" according to Anatoliy Viyevsky, Director of the Ukrainian National Alcohol and Drug Observatory.

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