Grapevine: Jun. 25, 1990

DOES HE DARE TO DRINK A TOAST? Novelist Valentin Rasputin strikes many as an odd choice to serve on Mikhail Gorbachev's new advisory presidential council. Rasputin's writings and speeches are often chauvinistically Russian and, according to some, anti-Semitic. But officials in Moscow think they have discovered the reason for Rasputin's elevated post. Raisa Gorbachev is a big fan of his books. A question now making the Kremlin rounds: Does every Czarina need her Rasputin?

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