End of a Shadow Regime

When the music changed, all Moscow knew that what it feared had happened

The day dawned gray and ordinary. As Muscovites looked outside at streets dusted with fresh snow, they could at least take comfort from the fact that it was Friday. Many turned on their radios, expecting the usual mix of news, pop music and light entertainment. What they heard instead were the melancholy strains of Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. Only 15 months before, such symphonic tributes had signaled the death of Leonid Brezhnev. Now the music was playing again. A Soviet office worker said it all: "Someone has...

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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