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The Press : Gorbachev's Humpty Dumpty

December 10, 1991

First the talk was of reconstituting the former Soviet Union into a new federation of autonomous states. Then the operative term became confederation--a looser union, but still with a political center. Now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine--formerly the Soviet Union's dominant Slavic republics--have declared themselves members of a new commonwealth of fully independent nations.

Where it all might end is still very much in doubt. But editorial cartoonists around the world see an obvious parallel. The crumbling, fracturing entity once called the Soviet Union, is a latter-day Humpty Dumpty that even the once-powerful Mikhail S. Gorbachev, with all of his horses and all of his men, cannot seem to put back together again.

A sampling of cartoons:

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