Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev's New Best Friends

By relying increasingly on the KGB and the army to stem the country's growing chaos, Gorbachev risks turning authoritarian

On paper, Mikhail Gorbachev has accumulated more power than most heads of state ever dream of possessing. Last week the Soviet parliament granted him even greater authority by approving a presidential plan to place the government directly under his control. Only this time, Gorbachev's victory seemed more like a retreat from his pursuit of democratic reforms. Under growing pressure to halt the country's descent into political and economic chaos, the Soviet leader appears to be recasting himself in a conservative mold.

Gorbachev has become more and more adamant in his insistence that the Soviet Union "cannot be divided." In fact, he...

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