Soviet Union Straight Talk: Gorbachev speaks his mind

Gorbachev speaks his mind

< One of the more intriguing features of Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost (openness) is the willingness of the Kremlin leader to submit himself to the occasional foreign press interview. Last week Gorbachev held a lengthy question-and-answer session with L'Unita, the daily newspaper of the Italian Communist Party, in which he not only talked about international affairs but offered a rare glimpse into his personal interests.

Gorbachev hinted that Moscow might accede to a role for the long-deposed monarch in Afghanistan, where 115,000 Soviet troops have been fighting a war of attrition against mujahedin rebels for the past seven years. Dismissing...