Russia: Plowing Up

For three days last week Russia's all-powerful Central Committee met be hind closed doors, giving the Kremlinologists in every Western chancellery another round in their perennial guessing game. When Izvestia delayed publication for some hours, an event that had not happened since the committee ousted Nikita Khrushchev last October, the mounting speculation even shook stock prices in Wall Street.

But when official Moscow finally reported the committee's decisions at week's end, they seemed to boil down to another effort to deal with Russia's chronic economic problem: agriculture. Kicked upstairs to a...

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