Soviet Union: The Empire Strikes Back

On the ropes for months, the Communist Party rebounds with a fighting message: Save Marxism and the Union at any cost

Nikita Khrushchev once scoffed that his country would ditch communism when "a shrimp learns to whistle." Much of the world thought it heard that unlikely music last March when Soviet legislators amended the constitution to abolish the Communist Party's guaranteed monopoly on political power. Four months later, establishment baiter Boris Yeltsin shocked a party congress by staging a dramatic walkout, leading an exodus of some 2 million disaffected members. But Khrushchev's miracle may not have been quite enough. By last week, it had become clear that die-hard disciples of Marx and Lenin were determined to regain the national whip hand, come...

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