The Russian Politician Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (* 1931) was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party from March 1985 to August 1991 and, from March 1990 to December 1991, the last President of the Soviet Union. Through his policy of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (reconstruction, transformation), he led the end of the Cold War and ultimately (unintentionally) probably also the end of the USSR on. He received the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize. Due to his absolute abstinence Gorbachev was also called "The Dry". He devoted himself intensively to the fight against lack of work ethic, corruption and alcohol abuse, which were also the causes of the great economic problems of the USSR at that time. In a national campaign, rigorous measures against excessive use of alcohol were adopted and implemented from 1985 to 1988. This was not just directed against the national drink vodka but also against the production and import of wine.
In addition to appropriate campaigns in the media against alcohol abuse was a state-mandated grubbing-up program with huge dimensions. By 1990, the vineyards in the USSR were reduced by about one-third, that is, half a million hectares. With around one million hectares of vines, the 1960 level was reached. This mainly affected the native grape variety Rkatsiteli, which had previously been among the most common varieties worldwide. All the wine-growing republics of the USSR were affected. So did the countries Bulgaria. Romania. Hungary and Cyprus They had already imported huge quantities of wine into the USSR and were now forfeiting a significant part of their export volume through the campaign. The measures against alcohol abuse, however, had only a limited success.