Soviet Union At the Point of No Return

Answering his critics, Gorbachev pushes ahead on reform

Mikhail Gorbachev put the matter bluntly: It was now or never for his economic reforms. "If we take fright and stop the processes we have begun," he warned, "it would have the most serious consequences because we simply could not raise our people to such a massive task a second time." Striking a characteristic note of urgency, he added, "To stop now would be disastrous. We must not permit it under any circumstances."

Gorbachev's admonition, delivered Jan. 8 to Soviet editors and published last week by TASS, was another clear sign that his reform drive is running into stiff opposition. His...

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