Soviet Union Not Just Another Pretty Face

Gorbachev's p.r. man moves toward the No. 2 job

As the 1,500-member Supreme Soviet, the country's largely ceremonial parliament, met last week to endorse the sweeping economic and political reforms approved a few days earlier by the Communist Party Central Committee, Moscow's intelligentsia was buoyant over another Mikhail Gorbachev initiative: a Marxist propaganda specialist, who has been known to make virulent attacks on the U.S., was promoted to the ruling Politburo. Normally that would cause groans among the intellectual elite, not cheers. But this propagandist is Alexander Yakovlev, and his promotion during the Central Committee meeting to full membership in the Politburo is being widely interpreted as a victory for...

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