Russians find freedom from drink in spring

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The Independent Online
Moscow (Reuter) - A magic water source, which is reported to cure drunkenness, has been discovered in a village in the north of Russia, Itar-Tass news agency said yesterday.

Russians, who are famed for their love of vodka, without which a festive meal is never complete, need only to imbibe the water regularly in order to shake off the "ruinous habit", the agency claimed.

"Despairing wives are leading husbands on drinking binges to the mystical source," it said.

Villagers in Tarnogski Gorodok, a village in the Vologda region, were visiting the source in the morning after holidays while drunks from neighbouring villages were also investigating its properties, Tass said.

"The rumour goes that some people have even managed to turn themselves in to complete teetotallers," it said.

The source appeared recently, at the site of an unused well, which had not been blocked properly.

"The water rose to the surface, acquiring anti-alcoholic properties," Tass said.

The agency said that the local doctors had so far only managed to prove that the water was effective as a cure for hangovers. However, Tass advised people to test the water's properties anyway.

"After all, drinking too much mineral water never hurt anyone. Water is not vodka. It will not make a hole in the family budget and perhaps someone will be lucky," it said.