RUSSIA: The Last Sacrifice

From loudspeakers in Soviet homes, parks, and on street corners the deep, resonant voice of Radio Moscow's ace announcer, Yuri Levitan, boomed bad & good news. Soviet citizens grew taut with strain as they listened to Levitan read a state decree. When he finished they erupted with grief or joy depending on the number of rubles each had hoarded under his mattress. The decree abolished: 1) 90% of all unbanked individual savings; 2) rationing of food and clothing.

Signed by the Politburo's Andrei Zhdanov, the decree was Soviet Socialism's drastic move to...

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