Soviet Union: A Little Too True?

A Little Too True?

The sensational account from the usually staid Soviet news agency TASS last week read like a Western tabloid: six men had miraculously been found alive in Armenia, 35 long days after an earthquake hit the Soviet republic and killed at least 25,000 people.

Aikaz Akopyan, 50, said he and five other men had survived in a small basement by eating pickles and canned goods. Akopyan's tale sparked a full- scale media blitz, and he was featured in news reports worldwide. But the daily Izvestia sensed a hoax and found holes in Akopyan's account; none of the other five "survivors," for example,...

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