Tolling The Death Knell: Solzhenitsyn urges the swift breakup of the union

Knell Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn urges the swift breakup of the union

The debate was torrid, the issue momentous. But even in the midst of last week's parliamentary debate over the country's economic destiny, many Soviet lawmakers could not tear their eyes from the newspapers in their laps. Here was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the exiled dissident, writing a polemic about the nation's current crisis in the pages of nothing less than Komsomolskaya Pravda (circ. 22 million), the mouthpiece of the Young Communist League. The 16,000-word text was also printed in Literaturnaya Gazeta (4.5 million), which only five years ago berated its author as "that vile scum of a traitor."

In recent years Soviet officials...

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