Soviet Union Time of Troubles

The U.S.S.R. slips closer to dissolution as Boris Yeltsin leads a second Russian Revolution. How will Gorbachev keep the empire together?

For seven decades Revolution Day on Nov. 7 has been the Soviet holiday of holidays, celebrating the 1917 dawn of the Communist empire in a pageant of regimented unity. But the observances this week seem likely to symbolize something very different -- where they are held at all. Officials in Moscow and Leningrad have criticized the traditional military parades as anachronistic wastes of money; parliamentarians in Latvia want rites honoring "victims of Communist terror"; authorities in Lvov in the western Ukraine resolved to ignore the anniversary altogether. Even after Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev ordered Moscow and other cities to hold the...

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