America Abroad: The Scientist in the Kremlin

The Scientist in the Kremlin

The Baltic republics, it is often said, are the "laboratory" of Mikhail Gorbachev's experiment in liberalization. The metaphor captures the exhilaration and ominousness of what is happening, both there in the Baltics and throughout the U.S.S.R. Glasnost, elections and free-market economics will help save the Soviet system from itself, or the mixture will explode.

The citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania love to watch grainy black- and-white documentary films of what it was like 50 years ago, before their lands were seized by Stalin, invaded by Hitler, then colonized by the Kremlin. They remember themselves as having been self-reliant yet outward...

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