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Inside View of the Soviet Congress

IT is difficult to speak about my impressions of the recent session of the Congress of People's Deputies in Moscow because they are mixed. On the one hand, the Congress provided food for thought. On the other hand, too many things seemed predetermined. For example, the existence of a ``cool majority,'' which equally applauded both the radicals and the supporters of stage-by-stage solutions, could be predicted long before the Congress. There were also negative moments, such as the hasty and formal nomination of some leaders.

As for the solution of acute national problems, I did not expect it at the Congress because such solutions are difficult to elaborate in the heat of arguments. Besides, it is the working Supreme Soviet that should study the proposals voiced at the Congress.

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But it would be wrong to say that the Soviet Congress was only a talk-shop. Discussions at the Congress involved representatives of different sections of society, who proclaimed their vision of the future of their regions. We witnessed the stratification of both the Congress and society. This is significant, and though some people regarded these discussions as empty talk, they are actually a sign of important social process.

I think it was not entirely voluntary that the leadership decided to hold such an open and critical Congress. Glasnost is not a result of some extraordinary love of democracy in this country. It was a forced measure, imperative for the solution of economic relations, which were so heavily weighed down {et

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