Soviet Union Two Hats Are Better than One

Though Gorbachev seeks to keep both of his titles, he wants to strengthen the presidency and weaken the party's influence

As Mikhail Gorbachev posed for photographs with Brazilian President-elect Fernando Collor de Mello in the Kremlin last week, a Brazilian journalist called out the question on everyone's mind. Would Gorbachev confirm the report broadcast around the globe by CNN that he was planning to quit as Communist Party chief? Gorbachev listened to the translation with a puzzled look, then smiled. "Many rumors and suppositions are circulating worldwide," he said, gesticulating with his hands for emphasis. "All this is groundless. It has come into vogue in the international press to set rumor mills working as soon as we approach a regular plenum...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!