Russian authorities sieze 26,000 liters of surrogate alcohol.
A bottle of Southern Comfort whiskey is displayed on a shelf at a liquor store on Jan. 14, 2016 in San Anselmo, California. Brown-Forman Corp. announced plans to sell its iconic brand Southern Comfort whiskey to Louisiana-based Sazerac for $543.5 million. Getty Images

Motivated by a recent outbreak of alcohol poisoning cases in Siberia, officials have confiscated more than 26,000 liters of illegal alcohol in Russia, news agency TASS reported Monday.

The crackdown on illegal alcohol, or surrogate alcohol, came following the deaths of nearly 80 people in the Siberian city Irkutsk, who died after drinking a bath concoction that contained ethanol. In nearby Orenburg, one resident died in late December and another was in serious condition after consuming similar solutions of non-drinkable alcohol.

The products were confiscated between Dec. 20 and Jan. 1, TASS reported, and included 896 liters of non-food alcohol. Authorities seized them during a raid on several underground suppliers and distributors including a ring of Irkutsk manufacturers responsible for selling Boyarshnik, a surrogate alcohol substance that’s supposed to be used as a bath water relaxant but is sometimes consumed as an alcoholic beverage due to its high ethyl alcohol content.

In some areas of Russia and Siberia, Boyarshnik is sold in vending machines. However, this batch was contaminated with toxic methanol instead of ethyl.

In effort to prevent further fatalities, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered a 30-day sale suspension of all non-food products containing an ethyl alcohol content of more than 25 percent on Dec. 23.

Many people in Russia and surrounding countries have turned to surrogate alcohol as a replacement to vodka and other expensive liquors that they can not afford to buy. Along with bath tinctures, other liquid products containing ethanol like window cleaner and cleaning products, perfume and surgical spirits are also used as surrogate alcohols.

Orenburg particularly has seen a ton of deaths from surrogate alcohol consumption. In 2015, more than 100 people died from drinking fake alcohol, which was illegally obtained in most cases, according to The Moscow Times. In some cases, people died from consuming fake whiskey that contained toxic methanol purchased illegally online or from underground distributors.