Russia: Orderly Public Procedures

The interrogation scene could have been lifted directly from a macabre novel by Abram Tertz. In a grim government building off Pushkin Square, two Russian plainclothesmen pounded away at their prisoner with 2½ hours of questions. Why, they asked, had the young logician from the Academy of Sciences been carrying a poster that read "Respect the Soviet Constitution"? Replied the prisoner: "Is it wrong to demand respect for the constitution?" Next question: "Are you directing your demand at the Soviet rulers?" Answer: "That is your suggestion. If you feel they need this advice, let them have it."

The exchange was...

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