Soviet Union Heading for a Showdown

As illegal nationalist forces roam the countryside, Gorbachev issues a decree demanding that they disband

At 6 a.m. a young man stands outside an olive-green military tent in the mountains along the bank of Lake Sevan in Armenia. "Votki!" he bellows. "Get up!" In minutes, 30 young men, all of them under 18, file out of the tent to begin their morning exercises. By noon they have jogged six miles, practiced hand-to-hand combat and had a lesson in Armenian history. "We need our own army," says Razmik Vasilyan, commander of the Armenian National Army, a semi-underground military force that has grown to 10,000 men since it was founded nearly a year ago. "The Soviet army simply...