Is is just the аптека (Apteka is pharmacy) locations we use, or is Vaseline, so helpful for treating winter weather ills, in some sort of controlled status in Russia?
It seems that Вазeлин (vaseline) is not available as a shelf item, and instead one must ask a pharmacy technician to dispense it. Many smaller аптеки (pharmacies) hold most products behind the counter because of space but is there a reason why Вазeлин is held behind the counter in larger ones as well?
Some village folk across the former Soviet Union still use Vaseline as a way to store fresh eggs. An old farm trick, eggs will remain fresh up to two years without refrigeration if stored in a cool, dry space and given a thin coat of Vaseline. The Vaseline application supplements the natural “bloom” a hen gives each egg which keeps it fresh during the fertilization process immediately after an egg has been laid.
As Vaseline is petroleum-based we at first didn’t understand why some forms of vaseline are sold in a refrigerated state. Since pharmacy refrigerators are kept behind the counter, naturally obtaining those a refrigerated product would need the assistance of a pharmacy technician. Doing a little research however quickly led to the discovery that a form of Vaseline oil is dispensed as a stool softener when a patient suffers from constipation. The photo below is Вазeлинin a bottle:
If you purchase Vaseline in Ukraine it will be spelled slightly different as Ukrainian while similar to Russian in some respects, is truly a different language. Vaseline in Russian Cyrillic is spelled Вазeлин but the Ukrianian Cyrillic spelling uses a letter not found in the Russian version of the Cyrillic alphabet. In Ukrainian the spelling for Baseline is вазелін.
For students of Russian language the way to pronounce Вазeлин can be found here.