Soviet Union: Yet More Nationalism

Yet More Nationalism

As if Mikhail Gorbachev didn't have enough problems, another epidemic of ethnic rioting broke out last week, this time in the Central Asian republic of Kirgizia. Fighting between Kirghiz and members of the Uzbek minority in the town of Osh began as a dispute over housing, then spread along the border with Uzbekistan and into Kirgizia's capital, Frunze. After five days, at least 78 people had been killed and almost 400 injured, many shot by police. A state of emergency was declared.

The crisis of nationalism is destined to grow worse. Led by Gorbachev's nemesis, Boris Yeltsin, the parliament of the...

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