Soviet Union Kremlin Prop Wash

In the aftermath of a daring stunt, Gorbachev plays power politics

In spite of the uproar he created by landing his Cessna Skyhawk 172 on the edge of Moscow's Red Square two weeks ago, there were signs that the Soviets might deal leniently with Mathias Rust, 19, the newly famous West German aviator. No less an insider than Valentin Falin, head of the official Novosti press agency, initially predicted that the "young man will soon see his parents and friends." But as the week wore on, the Soviets seemed to grow less and less inclined to let Rust off the hook, or for that matter to dismiss his unprecedented feat as an...

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