Russia: Meet Comrade Punkovsky

There was no applause from the crowd that jammed a tennis court in southwest Moscow's Luzhniki sports grounds. In the biggest trial of its kind ever held in the Soviet capital, 2,000 Muscovites met at the stadium as a people's court to pass judgment on three "young healthy fellows" who were accused of having "wasted their youth" on drunken sprees, gambling, and black market dealings with foreigners. After the citizens voted unanimously to banish the wastrels from Moscow, all three were sentenced to five years' hard labor in what the authorities delicately called "a remote part of the country."

The...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!