Soviet Union: Same Place, New Times

Same Place, New Times

When Eduard Shevardnadze abruptly resigned as Soviet Foreign Minister last December, warning of a coming dictatorship, he provoked widespread shock and alarm. His reappointment last week brought an international sigh of relief.

Since joining the resistance to the putsch attempt in August, Shevardnadze has been watching from the sidelines as the power of the central government has drained away to the ascendant republics. His decision to rejoin Mikhail Gorbachev is likely to lend credibility to the Soviet President's efforts to reconstruct a union and to solicit Western aid for the ailing economy.

But Shevardnadze's resumed role will be far from what...

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