RUSSIA: Taking the Count

It was still dark as the householder shuffled to the door at 8 one snowy Moscow morning last week. "Good morning," chirped one of the two girls with large badges pinned to their fur collars. "We've come to count you." Thereupon the enumerators were ushered into the warm kitchen to spread out their questionnaires. The Soviet Union's first nose count since 1939 was under way.

Across one-sixth of the world time practically stopped that day. Trains and planes scheduled to be moving as the day began took off with canvassers aboard. In such remote spots as the Pamir mountains and...

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