SOVIET UNION Mission: Improbable

SOVIET UNION Mission: Improbable

Perestroika has made little headway at the KGB, but the Soviet spies are taking a stab at glasnost. Even though KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov still delivers speeches with Stalinist overtones, his year-old public relations department is busy polishing the agency's image. It has opened a museum at headquarters in Moscow's Dzerzhinsky Square, allows some officers to give interviews and recently ran a Miss KGB contest in which women in bulletproof vests competed in skills like cooking, shooting, dancing, karate and applying makeup.

The KGB now thinks it is ready for prime time. Its p.r. director, Major General Alexander Karbainov, was in...

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