EAST-WEST: The Soviets Hit Back on Human Rights

The diplomatic cables from Moscow to Washington were sizzling last week with angry communiques. The protests, quipped one State Department official, "are getting so hard to keep track of, we're thinking of numbering them." At issue were the Carter Administration's continuing support for Soviet dissidents and its challenge to the Kremlin on human rights. After weeks of smoldering anger in Moscow, and increasingly bitter thrusts at the U.S. in the Russian press, the Soviets' counteroffensive had stepped up¬ówith a vengeance.

The most vitriolic of the polemics was an extended "open letter" in...

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