MOSCOW — Tass press agency today labeled a new U.S. report on Soviet military programs a "fantastic piece of fiction" and said the United States can't back up statements that the Soviets are researching space weapons.
The annual publication of the Pentagon's report on Soviet military power always draws a Soviet retort, but the emphasis on space weapons in the new study drew a quicker and sharper response than in the past.
"The bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated, the more people believe it," Tass said. "It must be proceeding from this principle that the Pentagon has published . . . the . . . report."
The dispatch said that by creating a "mythical Soviet threat" the Pentagon wants to justify U.S. military appropriations and America's stance at the Geneva arms talks.