Soviet citizens' inner resources

The coup in the Soviet Union and its subsequent collapse are remarkable and, as many commentators have already stated, pave the way for progress of the reform movement. Most importantly, the Russian people can now feel a great deal of pride in themselves for having stood up for their democratic rights.President Mikhail Gorbachev has been criticized for having appointed the very hard-liners who tried to usurp power from him. Perhaps, however, Gorbachev had the foresight to know that it was inevitable that hard-liners would try such a move. Certainly he knew the apparatchiks would not give up their privileged life without a whimper. He must have also known that it was not a question of whether there would be a coup, but rather of when and who would lead it. By appointing the hard-liners he did, Gorbachev ensured that the putsch would be bungled. Gorbachev may have done Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin and the reformers a greater favor than they yet realize. Robert Williams, Indianapolis

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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