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Questioning the Past Stability of Russia's Government

February 7, 1992



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

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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."

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. Disposing of used appliances

Regarding the editorial "Taking Out the Garbage," Jan. 21: In 1956 my husband and I bought a Westinghouse refrigerator and it is still going strong. Nowadays we cannot buy an appliance that will run for more than 10 years. I have read that this is the average life expectancy of most major appliances.

It is becoming more and more difficult to dispose of these worn out appliances. Community dumps are being closed, costs of dumping are rising, and professional haulers must be paid hefty amounts to dispose of the worn out appliances.

If there is truly a "garbage crisis" and we are running out of landfill space, what about going back to producing quality goods and appliances that will last more than 10 years? Marilyn Dixon, Minneapolis, Minn. Israel was ready to talk

The article "Israel Shuns Palestinian Delegation to Moscow Talks," Jan. 28, misrepresents the reality and the terms that were agreed upon by all parties before the multilateral talks began. Palestinian spokespersons have sought to raise issues that had already been resolved on several occasions in agreements with both the United States and Russian sponsors.

It is clear that Israel is ready to meet with the designated Palestinian representatives whose agenda is reflective of all issues of concern to their constituency.

Apparently, the problem is the PLO's unwillingness to yield center stage. A headline more accurately reflecting this story would be: "Palestinian Delegation Reneges on Agreement, Tries to Change Terms of Representation." William E. Rapfoge, New York Learning 'the American way'

Regarding the article about a new university in Bulgaria, "American University Brings Surprises for Students, Teachers," Jan. 22: It is good to know of the renewal of such international cooperation in education.

By reaching students within their own country, there is a greater likelihood of them working in their homeland where needed. The visiting faculty also learn first hand about the country with which they are sharing ideas. Edgar K. Muhlhausen, Bethlehem, Pa.