Soviet Union: Repression with Flowers

Can there still be doubts that Russia has shed its brutal Stalinist past? Not after what happened last week. In the course of arresting a noted Soviet author, two carloads of tough KGB (secret police) agents stopped everything, piled out of their autos and waded into a field to pick bunches of wild lilacs. Dissidents may be tossed into prison or insane asylums under Leonid Brezhnev's regime, but this is repression with hearts and flowers.

Or is it? Andrei Amalric, the defiant young writer who was the object of the KGB's attention, may not feel quite...

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