UFA, Bashkortostan -- Two small villages in southern Bashkortostan have declared themselves alcohol-free in an effort to prevent alcohol abuse, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.
The village of Kucheler declared itself an alcohol-free village in 2008.
Later, Sadjida Sultanova, the head of the nearby village of Sabarkul, heard about the initiative and Sabarkul was declared a “no-alcohol" village a short time later.
Sultanova told RFE/RL that while alcoholism remains a common problem elsewhere, and amid the financial crisis in the region, the two villages “are living a prosperous life, making money, and educating our children."
Bashkortostan is about 60 percent Muslim.