SOVIET UNION: Hard Times for Ivan

With their customary dazzling display of stagecraft, the Russians opened the Kremlin gates this week for the 25th performance of the classic miracle play of Communism: the Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The onion domes and crosses atop the Kremlin's cathedrals and churches coruscated in the winter sunlight, while the renovated brick battlements of the ancient fortress loomed over the elegant imperial palaces, freshly painted in pastels. Outside the walls of the ancient fortress, huge posters dominated Red Square, proclaiming the principal theme of this year's political...

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