RUSSIA: Things Are People!

Not wishing to displease Josef Stalin, not a single foreign correspondent turned up in Leningrad last week to try to cover the trial of the assassin of the Dictator's "Dear Friend Sergei" Kirov (TIME, Dec. 10). Two thousand Red Army troops, their greatcoats nearly sweeping the ground, guarded historic Smolny Institute. There Red Boss Kirov of Leningrad was shot in his Party headquarters, and there last week Assassin Nicolaev was tried in blackest secrecy.

Government press releases supplied the only details. Nicolaev was said to have laughed at his judges, perhaps hysterical after...