Soviet Union: An Opposition Party? Nyet!

An Opposition Party? Nyet!

At first the KGB seemed content to watch from the sidelines as some 100 dissidents gathered last week. But as the group was winding up its second day of political meetings at a dacha outside Moscow, the authorities moved in and detained 23 people, keeping almost half of them overnight. Reason: the dissidents had proclaimed the birth of an independent political party, the Democratic Union, to challenge the Communists.

Emboldened by Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev's calls for reform, the new party had demanded free elections and independent trade unions. The crackdown underlined that there are limits to the amount of glasnost...

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