Soviet Union: Boris Looks Westward

As Yeltsin arrives in the U.S., his landslide win creates a dilemma: How to deal with him and other leaders who want to bypass Gorbachev?

He did not say "Read my lips." In fact, his wording was rather pedestrian. But the substance of Boris Yeltsin's campaign promise was quite as bold, and may be every bit as difficult to fulfill, as George Bush's 1988 vow not to raise taxes. Under his "program of immediate economic stabilization" for the Russian Federation, said Yeltsin, "there will be the beginning of an improvement in living standards toward the end of 1992." In other words, he would not just stop but reverse the calamitous economic plunge that is the legacy of more than 70 years of communist mismanagement. And he...

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