September 24, 1989 |
The Soviet Communist Party on Saturday proposed reforms that would transform the country's highly centralized political and economic system into one based on federalism with extensive freedoms for its constituent republics and regions. A crucial element in the broad reforms now under way here, the move will reshape the Soviet Union, according to the party's policy document on ethnic issues, and it calls for extensive negotiations to reach a new constitutional formula for the country.
September 20, 1989 |
Leaders of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry said Tuesday that they had not expected to live long enough to hear an official of the Soviet Foreign Ministry plead for patience and understanding of Moscow's developing emigration policy. But an official of the Soviet ministry--which a few years ago would speak the conference's name only through clenched teeth--did just that in an address to the group's annual assembly. Yuri A.
September 18, 1989 |
The outlawed Ukrainian Catholic Church demonstrated its massive power here Sunday as tens of thousands of worshipers knelt on the ground and prayed in an outdoor service and then spilled onto the main avenues, singing hymns and holding lighted candles. The Mass and a subsequent march to the central cathedral, in which more than 100,000 people took part, was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the Soviet annexation of Western Ukraine.
August 15, 1989 |
Estonia's Communist Party chief called Monday for ethnic Russian workers in his republic to end a six-day strike and negotiate differences. Unrest flared in the southern republic of Azerbaijan, meanwhile, with thousands of people holding a rally and saying they would concentrate their strike on key industries. Strike leaders in Estonia's capital of Tallinn said at least 20,000 Russian workers stayed off the job to protest a new law that tightens residency requirements for voters and candidates.
August 14, 1989 |
Galina Rybanskaya, an ethnic Russian, has lived comfortably for 28 years in the Baltic republic of Estonia, but now she is troubled as never before by what she delicately calls "elements of discrimination." Sasha Kopytina, also Russian, married an Estonian and moved to the republic just a year ago. "I had planned to stay here all my life, but now I don't know. My rights are being restricted," she said.
August 11, 1989 |
Two American congressmen who visited a notorious Soviet prison camp said Thursday that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev is being misled by officials who tell him there are no longer any political prisoners in the Soviet Union.
July 30, 1989 |
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze, sounding the only discordant note in a remarkably amiable superpower exchange, protested to Secretary of State James A. Baker III on Saturday that U.S. military assistance to rebels in Afghanistan will only prolong a stalemated civil war, U.S. and Soviet officials said.
July 13, 1989 |
A delegation of U.S. psychiatrists reported Wednesday that visits to Soviet mental hospitals show that, despite some reforms, the Soviet practice of using psychiatry to punish political dissidents continues. Appearing before a congressional group, the psychiatrists also said that the powerful Soviet psychiatric hierarchy, guilty of past malpractice, remains in place. "Misuse of psychiatric hospitalization in the (Soviet Union) to confine dissidents . . . (has) not yet come to an end," said Dr.
April 12, 1989 |
The Soviet Union, in a major reform of its legal system, put into force Tuesday new legislation that more narrowly defines political crimes, requires fuller proof for conviction and provides for lighter sentences for those found guilty. Soviet legal authorities described the move, part of the broad political liberalization here under President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, as an important step toward allowing greater political pluralism and even as protecting the right of dissent. As an amendment to the country's criminal code, the new legislation replaces a previous statute that outlawed, with little definition, "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda" and defamation of the Soviet state or political system.