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Moscow Strollers See Signing on Big Screen

December 09, 1987|WILLIAM TUOHY | Times Staff Writer

MOSCOW — Muscovites strolling in the crisp dark evening Tuesday were able to watch the historic signing of the nuclear arms treaty in Washington on a huge television screen set up in busy Kalinin Prospekt in the heart of the Soviet capital.

The screen carried a live telecast from Washington showing President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev at the White House treaty-signing ceremonies, which took place about 10 p.m. local time. Viewers were also able to hear the accompanying speeches live in Russian.

Vremya, the popular evening television news show seen by an estimated 180 million viewers in the Soviet Union, began with clips from Gorbachev's arrival Monday and the Tuesday morning welcome by Reagan on the lawn of the White House.

Earlier, the White House greeting, complete with honor guard, bands and speeches, had been telecast live at 6 p.m. Moscow time. In the capital, that timing caught many residents heading home from work or late shopping, and they paused to watch the show.

After the 9 p.m. news, the treaty-signing ceremonies--with close-ups of the two leaders' wives, Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev--were carried live to a vast audience here.

On Kalinin Prospekt, a smaller crowd had waited patiently before 6 p.m. in the subfreezing weather to watch the leaders of the two superpowers on the vast color screen.

"This affects all people," said an aging Muscovite, who was in the small crowd, "Soviet people and American people, too."

A young woman added: "At last the time has come when our leaders have decided to sign a treaty."

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