Soviet Union Playing for Keeps

Ever the master politician, Gorbachev copes with challenges from a onetime ally and the Baltic republics on the eve of his U.S. visit

Moving backward down the carpeted corridor, a squad of television cameramen scythed through onlookers who were craning their necks for a better look. Flanking the cameras and electric cables came the men with microphones and blazing lights. In the middle of it all strode the politician they were focusing on, trailing a small group of aides. Had the scene been set in the U.S. Capitol, it would have been run-of-the-mill stuff. But this was the Kremlin, and the man doing the politicking was President Mikhail Gorbachev. As he moved along, he buttonholed Deputies of the new parliament of the Russian federation,...

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