SOVIET UNION: Challenge and Reprisal

"If they beat me, I will admit anything," Soviet Historian Pyotr Yakir told a journalist before he was arrested last year. "I know this from my former experience in the camps. But you'll know it won't be the real me speaking."

Last week Yakir was paraded before 300 foreign and Russian newsmen for an extraordinarily confessional press conference at Moscow's Journalists' Club. Looking remarkably fit despite 15 months of pretrail detention and interrogation, the leonine-headed dissident recited a prepared statement in a monotone while smoking Bulgarian cigarettes and sipping Caucasian mineral water....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


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

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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