Soviet Union Clash of the Comrades

Gorbachev tangles subtly with reform's chief critic

The signs of a struggle within the Kremlin seemed unmistakable. For more than six months, thinly veiled attacks on Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policies had been growing bolder. No one outside the ruling Politburo, however, could know for certain the strength of the General Secretary's opponents in what Moscow insiders called the battle for perestroika -- Gorbachev's term for the radical economic restructuring he is trying to carry out. Was Gorbachev's authority being seriously challenged? Or did the criticism exchanged in coded speeches and press articles amount to no more than a difference in emphasis between officials pursuing the same broad...

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