选择松鼠作为该宣传片的主角也不是偶然之举。在俄语俚语里，形容一个人醉酒后产生幻觉常用的一个表达是belochka，相当于英语中的a little squirrel（一只小松鼠）。
Russia’s health ministry has rolled out an unlikely new weapon in its fight against rampant alcoholism: a video of a drunken squirrel hallucinating.
The 'demon squirrel’ clip has become a smash hit on the Internet where it has been viewed more than one million times attracting a slew of critical and positive comments.
Part of the Kremlin’s toughest anti-alcohol campaign since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the video was released after President Dmitry Medvedev described the country’s drinking problem as “a national disaster.”
The animated squirrel featured in the video is meant as a cautionary tale about the effects of binging on alcohol and vodka, Russia’s national tipple, in particular.
The advert’s creators did not choose a squirrel as their anti-hero by chance. In Russian slang, delirium tremens, the moment of inebriation when people start to get the shakes and to hallucinate, is known as “belochka” or “a little squirrel.” The squirrel in the video, who is red-eyed and bedraggled, is therefore shown ranting, singing, and delivering a nonsensical monologue.
He talks about “chasing spiders up the walls” and finishes up by offering to kill his neighbour’s wife because she is “the devil.”
“Are you a boozer?” the deranged squirrel asks in the finale. “Then I am coming around to your place.”
The colourful ad campaign follows a decision to introduce a minimum price for a half-litre bottle of vodka of 89 roubles (1.78 pounds) and to reduce the amount of alcohol permissible in motorists’ blood to nil.
Russians drink more than 18 litres (32 pints) of pure alcohol per capita per year, more than double the World Health Organisation’s recommended maximum.
At a time when Russia is trying to stem a serious population decline, encouraging people to drink less alcohol is being seen as a matter of self-preservation.
Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, and President Medvedev often try to set an example by being photographed sipping tea.
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