It looked and smelled like snow.
Thick, milky clouds piled high over Moscow, and a sharp northern wind stripped the last leaves from the birches.
The year's biggest, brightest holiday, the 47th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, was at hand, but somehow the holiday mood refused to ignite.
There was one cheerful note. Russia's new regime announced that for the first time in 13 months of grain rationing, everyone would be issued 41 extra Ibs. of flour for the cabbage pies that seem vital to the Russian soul.
With a bumper crop almost in,...