A 300m Vodka Pipeline Was Just Discovered in Ukraine

The makeshift pipeline was being used to transport bootleg alcohol out of Ukraine into neighbouring Moldova.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
Ukrainian border officials inspect the contents of the pipeline.
Ukrainian border officials inspect the contents of the pipeline. Photo: screenshot courtesy of the Ukrainian gover

An illegal “vodka pipeline” has been discovered by a group of patrolling Ukrainian border officials near the southeastern city of Podilsk.

According to the Ukrainian government, the pipeline was used to transport bootleg alcohol from Ukraine into Moldova. 

“Three hundred meters of polyethlene pipe stretched from the state border underground in the direction of the private home of a 32-year-old citizen of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian government said in a statement. “Previously, the discovered highway was used for the illegal transfer of alcohol to Ukraine from the Transnistrian segment of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border.”

The recently discovered vodka highway is part of a network of pipelines built under the former Soviet Union that was built to transport cheap Russian vodka out of the country and into neighbouring states to sell for a large profit. 

A two-mile pipeline was found in 2004 between Belarus and Lithuania, and a one-mile line was discovered four years later between Russia and Estonia. The most recent discovery came in 2013 when a line was found running through Kazakhstan into Kyrgyzstan. 

The Ukrainian government says it plans to investigate and dismantle the newly discovered pipeline.