Soviet Union: Housecleaning, Gorby-Style

Housecleaning, Gorby-Style

Life on the Politburo is not a lot of fun these days. If Mikhail Gorbachev isn't changing the job descriptions of the Soviet leaders, the parliament is poking its nose into party business. Now the Supreme Soviet's Commission on Privileges is taking an ax to some of the things that made party life worth living, specifically the comfortable dachas, or country houses, enjoyed by the elite.

Under a new Soviet law, more than 20 homes will be turned over to the Health Ministry. Only Gorbachev and Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov will retain their country residences. Says Ella Panfilova, a commission staffer: "We've...

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