COLD WAR: Gathering of the Commissars

Borodino is a name often heard in Moscow. It is a village about 70 miles westward, where Marshal Kutusov's Russian army made a last-ditch stand against Napoleon in 1812, and where in World War II a hard-fought battle stopped the Germans. Red propagandists made a Soviet symbol of Borodino. When the Foreign Ministry planned its new skyscraper after the war, it chose a site overlooking the Borodino bridge by which the historic highway from the west enters Moscow. There last week top Soviet policymakers met to plot the strategy of a diplomatic Borodino.

It was a battle of deeper attrition than...

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