Peter B. Reddaway is Professor Emeritus of Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University.

On the Eve

In his recent book The End of the Communist Revolution the historian Robert Daniels expresses some views about the collapse of communism and its aftermath that have become increasingly accepted. First, “the sequence of victorious democratic break-throughs in the former Communist realm was one of the most extraordinary and, to …

Russia on the Brink?

Russia is on the brink of coming apart. Increasingly, its regions and ethnic republics are going their own ways, trying to secure as much independence as they can from the gridlocked politics and fraying institutions of the central government. Optimists see in this the gradual realization of Aleksandr Herzen’s nineteenth-century …

The End of the Empire

On September 25 of this year the president of the Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, told President Bush that “the United States must accept the independence of republics such as the Ukraine, because central government in the Soviet Union no longer exists.”[^1] On October 4 he said, “I am against political union.”[^2] …

Empire on the Brink

In my last commentary in these pages, in August 1989,[^1] I suggested that “while Gorbachev is probably safe for the time being, perestroika is in deep trouble.” Moreover, because Gorbachev would “not be able to go on knocking the conservatives off balance forever,” there was a growing danger that “a …

Should World Psychiatry Readmit the Soviets?

The current situation in Soviet psychiatry needs a surrealist to describe it. On the one hand, an increasing number of Soviet journals have been forthrightly saying what Soviet dissidents and Western observers have said for almost twenty years. This is that abuses of psychiatry for political reasons—including the confinement of …

The Threat to Gorbachev

Last December Mikhail Gorbachev’s closest political ally, Alexander Yakovlev, said in a speech: “We probably have no more than two to three years to prove that socialism as formulated by Lenin can work.” Perestroika, or restructuring, had, he said, brought little material benefit to ordinary people, and if it were …

Soviet Psychiatry: A Message from Moscow

by Peter Reddaway The address that follows is a slightly condensed version of remarks recently made by Alexander Podrabinek on videotape in Moscow. Their intended audience is the world psychiatric community and all doctors and laypeople who are concerned about the perversion of psychiatry for political purposes. The tape was …

Resisting Gorbachev

In the struggle over power and policy in the Kremlin the stakes have risen yet again. At first there was only scattered resistance to a drive by a reasonably united collective leadership to mobilize Soviet bureaucracy and society to carry out long-delayed reforms. But that stage soon passed. The turning …

Gorbachev the Bold

In the autumn of 1985 I suggested in these pages[^1] that Soviet Union might be about “to change its course.” Its leaders might be deciding, I felt, “that economic progress is more important to their long-term interests than grimly hanging on to every form of police control while their political …

Mensch

Martin Gilbert’s main achievement is to justify his subtitle. He patiently lays out the evidence that Anatoly Shcharansky is indeed a hero, a decent and righteous man who was put to fearful tests over ten years, flinched inwardly from time to time, underlining his humanity, but did not break. To …

Waiting for Gorbachev

It now seems possible that within a year or so the vast, lumbering Soviet Union may start to change its course. A turning point to compare with the major shifts of 1921, of 1929 to 1934, 1953 to 1956, and 1964 to 1966 may be impending. Will the change, if …

The Case of Dr. Koryagin

Fears are mounting that the psychiatrist Anatoly Koryagin is near to death in the notorious jail of Chistopol in central Russia. Letters that have reached the West from his wife and a friend indicate that he is so weak that unless he is given expert medical care he could die …

The Attack on Anatoly Koryagin

A detailed account of the “physical torture” of Soviet political prisoners “through starvation, cold, and deprivation of sleep” has just been smuggled to the West from a forced-labor camp in the Urals. Its author is the well-known Russian psychiatrist Dr. Anatoly Koryagin. In 1981 Dr. Koryagin was given a twelve-year …

An Appeal to Psychiatrists

A defiant appeal to world psychiatrists has recently been smuggled to the West from a Russian labor camp in the Urals. The author, Dr. Anatoly Koryagin, is a Soviet psychiatrist who was given a twelve-year sentence last June for opposing the use of political psychiatry to lock up and torture …

The East: Three Reports

It’s here in East Central Europe that Eastern and Western culture collide; it’s here that they intermingle. Here we see side-by-side the physical and psychic baggage of industrial and preindustrial civilizations. Our heads, like old radios, hiss and buzz with the claims of Soviet-style state socialism and Atlantic liberalism; we …

The New Purge

The Soviet regime’s current assault on dissent—of which Dr. Sakharov’s exile is part—poses a serious new challenge to the West. The challenge overlaps with that of Afghanistan but is by no means identical to it. During 1980 we will see whether or not Western protests are determined enough—as they were …

Psycho-Suppression

The practice of “political psychiatry” has so far been limited mainly to the USSR and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe, but it could well spread to any country under authoritarian rule. Essentially it is a secret police tool to intimidate, suppress, or terrorize into recantation through drug treatment the …

K G B Psychiatry

The basic facts about the corruption of Soviet psychiatry and its use to suppress dissent are now beyond doubt. It has taken ten years to have them widely accepted (a process in which The New York Review has had a part).[^1] But the poison of the powerful psychiatric bureaucracy of …

More Psychiatric Terror

Despite last August’s vote of condemnation by the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), the KGB and certain Soviet psychiatrists are continuing to intern dissenters in mental hospitals. Appeals to the WPA for help in resisting this practice have recently been reaching the West. Observers in Russia believe that by continuing the …

The KGB in Georgia

On January 9 Zviad Gamsakhurdia avoided death for the third time when he noticed just soon enough that the brake cables on his car had been cut. His house in Tbilisi stands on a hill, and had he driven down it, his chances of survival would have been slim. The …

The Relentless KGB

The Soviet group of Amnesty International is finding itself the target of mounting police harassment. One member has been sentenced, and the trial of a second is imminent. At the same time the group continues to operate vigorously, working on the same lines as Amnesty groups in some twenty-five other …

Two True Stories

The recently convicted Russian worker and writer Anatoly Marchenko has arrived at his place of exile in Siberia. This news, which has just reached his wife Larissa Bogoraz, ends her fears that he might have died during the grueling deportation from Moscow to the small town of Chuna near Irkutsk.

KGB Thuggery

The Soviet security police, or KGB, have launched a new drive to suppress the samizdat journal The Chronicle of Current Events. This was confirmed when they conducted a seven-hour search at the end of January in the Moscow flat of Mrs. Tatiana Khodorovich, a linguist and long-standing dissenter, and confiscated …

The Resistance in Russia

A decade ago in the Soviet Union a series of relentless, sometimes desperate struggles got under way. On one side was the powerful apparatus of the regime, long in power, ideologically ossified beyond regeneration, instinctively and persistently reactionary in suppressing almost all the aspirations of its opponents. On the other …