Soviet Union With Georgia on His Mind

Gorbachev faces yet another violent eruption of nationalism

Shortly after noon last Thursday, crockery rattled as a quake hit Tbilisi, the capital of the Soviet Republic of Georgia. It was a minor tremor -- especially when compared with the political convulsion that shook the city four days earlier. Then, at a rally that stretched into the early-morning hours of Sunday, tens of thousands of Georgians listened to a megaphone of speakers demand greater freedom from Moscow. Many protesters carried the black-white-and-claret flag that waved during Georgia's most recent period of independence, from 1918 to 1921. Others hoisted signs that read DOWN WITH THE DECAYING SOVIET EMPIRE.

At 4 a.m.,...

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

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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