Soviets: Ending an Era of Drift

A speedy transition gives notice of a different style

It was 8 a.m. in Moscow last Monday and Yelena, a student in a technical school, had just turned on her television set expecting to watch her favorite exercise program. Instead, a news show on world events was on the air. Any place else, the change in programming would not have been all that unusual, but in the Soviet Union of the past three years it was more than enough to prompt the concern that it had happened again--a Soviet leader had died. The suspicion was all but confirmed when regularly scheduled broadcasts during the following six hours were replaced by...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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!