Soviet Union: A Call to Civil War? !

Resign, Yeltsin tells Gorbachev, plunging the two rivals into a political struggle that only one of them can survive

The long, tense interview was nearly at an end when the subject suddenly started to stray from the script. As the television commentator kept trying to interrupt, Boris Yeltsin, the president of the Russian republic, plunged the politics of the U.S.S.R. into turmoil by taking on the President of the Soviet Union himself. "I separate myself from the position and policies of Mikhail Gorbachev," he read in a slow, deep baritone, "and I call for his immediate resignation."

The challenge was not Yeltsin's first, but it was surely his strongest, and timed to coincide with a period of severe domestic disarray....

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