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Questioning the Past Stability of Russia's Government

At least one prominent historian would disagree with a statement by the author of the Opinion page article "Russia's Turning Point," Jan. 28.

The author asserts, "The prospects for political liberalization of government were promising in the decade before the war broke out in 1914." R. R. Palmer, author of "A History of the Modern World," confirms that in 1914 Russia had a parliament, if not parliamentary government, but avers: "It is not possible to say how far this development might have gone, for it was menaced on both the right and the left by obstinate and obscurantist reactionaries upholding absolute tsardom and by revolutionaries whom n othing but the end of tsardom and wholesale transformation of society could appease."

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Ensuring the independence and internal stability of the successor states of the former USSR is of highest priority. This can be achieved best by carefully calibrated Western and Japanese economic and humanitarian aid during the next nine months. William F. Dunkelberger, Randolph, Vt.

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