New figures confirm the Rusian suicide rate has doubled since the fall of communism in 1990. 

 

The rate last year was 38.4 deaths per 100,000 people, the director of the Serbski Psychiatry Institute, Tatiana Dmitrieva, said on Monday.

 

She said Russian men are six times more likely to kill themselves than women.

 

More than one in 1,000 Russian men aged 45 to 57 committed suicide last year, she added.

 

Alcoholism

  

"The World Health Organisation (WHO) reckons that a suicide rate over 20 per 100,000 is critical," Dmitrieva told the Nezavissimaya Gazeta newspaper.

 

Experts believe the main reason for growing suicides is people not adapting to new economic conditions since the fall of the Soviet Union.

  

"The World Health Organisation reckons that a suicide rate over 20 per 100,000 is critical"

 

Tatiana Dmitrieva

 

The highest-risk group is men who have been unable to find a career during the last 15 years.

 

Alcoholism has also been blamed by the WHO, with Russians drinking an estimated four billion litres of vodka a year.

Russia has the second highest suicide rate in the world after Lithuania.