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....

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