World: Of Firs, Flies & Fears

Thaw was in the Moscow air last week, melting the first thin layers of snow after the long months of winter. But to the 500 writers, musicians, painters and poets gathered in the Kremlin's Sverdlov Hall last week, the changing season outside only underscored Nikita Khrushchev's words of warning shouted from the platform. Khrushchev's decree to Russia's intellectuals: new ideas in Russia must remain in the deep freeze—indefinitely.

"One hears," cried Nikita in his 2 1/2hour blast, "that the time has come for laissez faire, that the reins of government have been loosened ....

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