Moonshining in Chernigov Oblast

I. Glanko, Drink, Drugs and Corruption Moonshining. April 17, 1987

Original Source: Pravda Ukrainy, 17 April 1987.

In Chernigov oblast-or more precisely, in Repki raion-there is a village called Novaia Budnia. Some time ago the inhabitants proclaimed the village alcohol-free. Quite recently, an inspection team from the rayon center dropped in to have a look at the sober life the local people were living. What the controllers found was something else-“infernal machines” which, before their very eyes, ran sugar into brew and the brew into full-proof moonshine.

You would never guess who turned out to be the owner of the home-made miracle-working machines. It was M. M. Sodyl, Communist and leader of a crop-growing team, a member of the local organization of the Voluntary Society for the Struggle for Sobriety, and in addition a deputy on the Nedanchinskii Village Soviet. Believe it or not, at this “teetotaler’s” premises the controllers found 80 liters of moonshine brew and 17 liters of 45-proof first-brew moonshine (piervak).

But something of a record in accumulating various types of equipment for raw moonshine distilling, barrels of brew and large bottles of moonshine was achieved by M. M. Sodyl’s neighbors: M. F. Bilenok, a forester and, by the way, a member of the Sobriety Society and a Communist too; E. M. Iashchenko, a woman worker at the local Kotsiubinskii state farm; and P. V. Dekhtiarenko, a pensioner. On the day of the inspection, it was found that the aforementioned people had hidden in various places, all in all, 240 (!) liters of semi-finished moonshine and three sizeable bottles of drink ready for consumption.

If you like, I could tell you about another case, which has already been investigated by Repi people’s court. The person involved was woman pensioner M. M. Evtushenko who, as well as brewing moonshine, also supplied the builders of the town of Slavutich with her product in their township, the Iakor. How many trips she made from Kotsiubinskii state farm to the Iakor no one knows. But on one occasion the woman moonshiner and profiteer was unlucky: the militia caught her red-handed. The punishment prescribed by the people’s court was a fine of 500 rubles. Wasn’t it rather mild? …

One could cite many examples of moonshiners and moonshine dealers being exposed. Suffice it to say that from January to March of the current year alone, in Chernigov oblast 970 sources of moonshining were discovered, 2,500 sets of moonshining equipment were seized or voluntarily surrendered, and criminal or administrative proceedings were taken against 900 people….

Source: George R. Urban, ed., Social and Economic Rights in the Soviet bloc: a documentary review seventy years after the Bolshevik Revolution (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1988), pp. 181-182.

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