Grandchildren off the Revolution

A big Chernenko challenge: westward-looking, apolitical youth

At a festival in Soviet Armenia, 5,000 rock-besotted fans sway and twitch in the stands of a bicycle stadium.

Onstage, half a dozen Soviet groups belt out numbers in a Berlitz of languages, including English, Italian and French. As midnight slips by, the gray-uniformed police stationed by the amplifiers glower, but the beat goes on. Suddenly a combo swings into an Elvis Presley classic, and the fans roar along, "Mah bluh svade shoos."

Not long ago, Oleg Radzinsky, 25, stood before a Moscow judge. The charge: spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. In 1982, Radzinsky had joined with a dozen...

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