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April 16, 1995 | CAROL J. WILLIAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the days of hard-line communism, the trouble with Subbotniks--the three Saturdays a year of "voluntary free labor"--was that the unpaid pre-holiday cleanups were compulsory for all. In the early days of reform, during former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's campaign for openness and freedom, Subbotniks remained a command performance, but little work got done. Students, office workers, pensioners and soldiers turned the seasonal spruce-up into a massive picnic.
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NEWS
December 25, 1995 | STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When the women storm in, full of frost and fury, Valentina Bunina fixes her face in a professional frown. She knows what will follow: tears, moans, anguish and despair. "When will we have heat?" the women cry, tugging tight their wool scarves. They shove their way into the tiny town hall, eight of them, then a dozen, then more. "If we could just have a little warmth, just a little . . . ," one pleads. Another scolds sharply: "We're dying here! We're freezing to death!
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NEWS
December 25, 1995 | STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When the women storm in, full of frost and fury, Valentina Bunina fixes her face in a professional frown. She knows what will follow: tears, moans, anguish and despair. "When will we have heat?" the women cry, tugging tight their wool scarves. They shove their way into the tiny town hall, eight of them, then a dozen, then more. "If we could just have a little warmth, just a little . . . ," one pleads. Another scolds sharply: "We're dying here! We're freezing to death!
NEWS
April 16, 1995 | CAROL J. WILLIAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the days of hard-line communism, the trouble with Subbotniks--the three Saturdays a year of "voluntary free labor"--was that the unpaid pre-holiday cleanups were compulsory for all. In the early days of reform, during former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's campaign for openness and freedom, Subbotniks remained a command performance, but little work got done. Students, office workers, pensioners and soldiers turned the seasonal spruce-up into a massive picnic.
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