Russian veteran-owned vodka company expects record profits this year
Wonder where they got that idea.
By Paul J. O’Leary
MOSCOW — In a nondescript office a few blocks from Red Square, a happy-go-lucky group of combat veterans have set up the headquarters for one of Russia’s fastest-growing vodka brands — Red Rifle Vodka Company — and they are expecting record sales this year.
Red Rifle Vodka Company, RRVC for short, was the brainchild of veteran Evanoff Minsky, who served as a Spetsnaz trooper in Chechnya, the Caucasus, and in the Russo-Georgian conflict. A self-declared “vodka nerd,” Minsky often distilled his own blends of vodka for himself and his comrades in special operations while they were deployed.
“I saw the success of the Afghan veteran-owned Brown Rifle Chai Company and thought hey, there is definitely space in the distilled liquor market,” said Minsky. “You know, I think I still have some distant cousins in Afghanistan.”
Minsky saw moderate success with his vodka business, but really raised his profile when he joined forces with his business partner, Mikhail Bestovicch, a former Russian Airborne trooper who became an internet sensation through his humorous, and sometimes controversial, military-focused YouTube videos. Before joining the Red Rifle Vodka Company team, Bestovicch was the founder and CEO of Blue Beret T-shirts.
“Honestly, I never enjoyed hawking my line of funny, military t-shirts outside Red Square,” Bestovicch said. “It was just a means to finance what I really enjoyed, which was making funny videos and creating a community for our glorious Russian military veterans.”
When Minsky combined his award-winning vodka blends with Bestovicch’s mass marketing acumen, Red Rifle began to skyrocket like a ballistic missile.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Duffel Blog to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.