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Beatles Still Blamed by Russian Officials for ‘Recreational Drug Use Increase’

Beatles
Keystone / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

According to a Russian health official, the youth of his country have a major drug problem — and it all goes back to those darn Beatles.

“After the Beatles went to expand their consciousness in India ashrams, they introduced that idea – the changing of one’s psychic state of mind using drugs – to the population,” argued Yevgeny Bryun, the Russian Ministry of Health’s chief alcohol and drug abuse specialist, during a Moscow press conference reported by London’s Daily Telegraph.

“When business understood that you could trade on that – on pleasure and goods associated with pleasure – that’s probably where it all began,” continued Bryun, who went on to discuss the “tough measures” needed to curtail the lingering effects of Beatlemania.

As the Telegraph notes, the Beatles were banned for a period in the U.S.S.R., following a decree by the nation’s state-run record label that “musicians such as these, who have plunged to the depth of musical decline, do not deserve a place on Soviet records.”

A new ban seems unlikely, however — especially given that current Russian president Vladimir Putin is a self-avowed Beatle fan, and after Paul McCartney played Red Square in 2003, Putin told him that the band’s music had been “like a gulp of freedom” to Soviet youth in the ’60s.

See Where the Beatles Landed on Our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs List

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