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Cultural Diplomacy: A Multi-Faceted Strategic Asset of Soviet Power

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One of the most potent yet grossly underestimated capabilities of Soviet political power is the Kremlin’s large array of instruments of cultural diplomacy. The use of culture has a long tradition in Soviet foreign policy, which stems from Leninist principles on the importance of culture as a tool of class struggle. In its many forms, culture has been regarded by the Soviets as a vehicle of education, propaganda, and political socialization, both in the domestic and international spheres.

At the First All-Russia Congress of Proletcult (Proletarian Culture) held in Moscow in 1920, Lenin submitted a draft resolution which stated the general principle:

All educational work in the Soviet Republic of workers and peasants, in the field of political education in general and in the field of art in particular, should be imbued with the spirit of the class struggle waged by the proletariat for the successful achievement of the aims of its dictatorship, i.e., the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the abolition of classes, and the elimination of all forms of exploitation of man by man.[1]

Another resolution, this one from the Communist Party’s Central Committee in 1925, declared:

In a class society there is not, nor can there be, a neutral art, though the class nature of art generally and of literature in particular is expressed in forms which are infinitely more various, than, for instance, in politics…[2]

Pursuant to these general ideas, Soviet foreign policy incorporated cultural means as one of its key tools in its attempts to bring about the “revolutionary transformation of the world.”[3]3 As early as December 1917, in its Appeal to Nations and Governments of Other Countries, the Bolshevik government declared that its goal in this respect was: “the creation of conditions in which…all nations could be united in economic and cultural cooperation.”[4] *

*”Cooperation” in the Soviet lexicon has its own, unique, ideologically charged definition – working or associating with others in a way that is “mutually beneficial.” Anything that is “beneficial” is “progressive” in character and moves society toward socialism or serves Soviet interests. The Soviets have consistently rejected what they term “bourgeois forms of cooperation,” which they see as attempts to gain unilateral advantage. E.g., former International Department chief, Boris Ponomarev, rejects Western attempts to make East-West cooperation serve “selfish political aims,” and declares that “the CPSU has always maintained that international cooperation should become an instrument of peace and progress.”[5]

Considering culture to be universally understandable and accessible, the Soviets view it as the “universal means of communication” and therefore a tool to be utilized for their global ends.[6]

A recent Soviet Deputy Minister of Culture, G.A. Ivanov, explains how this tool is used:

One cannot simply plead for peace or just sit back and wait for it; peace has to be fought for and defended. We are thoroughly convinced that in this struggle against insanity, for peace and life, an especially important role is played by humanitarian culture and cultural exchanges.  After all, in the present situation it is necessary, as never before, to create a climate of mutual trust and understanding. Cultural contacts and exchange of cultural wealth are a powerful and effective means of building such confidence… Our… objectives are peaceful coexistence and mutually profitable cooperation, and our cultural exchanges serve to promote them. (emphasis added).[7]

Inducing Favorable Reception

In his seminal work on this subject, Baruch Hazan dissected the psychological process a work in the use of culture as an instrument of political propaganda. The most important element that a propagandist must take into account in this process is the necessity of transmitting his message past certain “screens,” which either permit or block the mental reception and processing of the message. A key example of the use of such a screen is where the target disqualifies a propaganda source as untrustworthy without regard to the merits of the message in question. Inducing favorable attitudes toward the propaganda source, therefore, is the first task of the propagandist.

Because such an initial investment vastly improves the chances that future messages will arouse the desired reaction, the real propaganda process begins long before the transmission of distinct propaganda messages, and even before the rise of political events which necessitate the use of propaganda in the first place.[8]

The first stage of the overall propaganda process, then, is what Hazan calls “impregnational” propaganda: i.e., where efforts are made at “impregnating,” or fertilizing, the target audience’s defensive screens with attitudes that make them more receptive to future operational messages. This is a conditioning process which, in the specific case of the USSR, involves weakening the anti-Soviet defense mechanisms of the target group, or as Hazan puts it, “drilling pro-Soviet holes” in the audience’s defensive screens or otherwise making those screens permeable. In practice, this means building a positive image of the Soviet Union in as many ways as possible.[9]

There is nothing particularly Soviet or unique about many aspects of the Kremlin’s use of culture as an instrument of foreign policy. Scores of nations, including the United States, conduct international cultural programs. What distinguishes Soviet cultural diplomacy, however, is 1) the degree to which it is conducted as an integral part of a much larger foreign policy strategy; 2) the enormous scope of the Soviet effort; 3) the types of people participating in this diplomacy: whereas most of those participating and directing American cultural activities abroad are people primarily concerned with culture — people who may even be cultural figures in their own right — Soviet cultural diplomacy is directed by people who tend to have backgrounds as propagandists; and 4) the different meaning attributed to the word “culture”: whereas Western governments consider international cultural programs to include mainly the arts, folklore and “popular culture,” the Soviets view “cultural relations” as a much larger set of activities, which include: health, science, education, sports, religion, tourism, professional contacts and even disaster relief.[10]

To understand fully the nature of Soviet foreign policy toward the West during the recent period of revolutionary change requires an assessment of the full range of Soviet activities in these spheres and how they have been integrated with the other more “traditional” (in Western eyes) elements of Soviet diplomacy.

Vehicle of Perceptions Management and Active Measures

In addition to its “impregnational” or conditioning functions, cultural diplomacy has been used by the Soviets to insinuate certain specific themes and attitudes into the minds of foreign target audiences.

Cultivating the Image of Moral and Institutional Symmetry

One of the key methods of this diplomacy – particularly exchanges – is the attempt to induce foreign, and especially American, audiences to believe that “the Soviets are just like us.” This message augments a number of the classic themes of Soviet disinformation by serving the following purposes:[11]

— It is designed to induce Americans to continue their long-time inclination to minimize the importance of cultural differences between foreign societies and their own.[12]

— It also encourages Americans to believe that Soviet governmental and other public institutions are the functional and moral equivalents of their own institutions.[13]

— By minimizing cultural and institutional differences, this message encourages Americans to believe that there are few political differences, and that, therefore, the “Soviets” share the same concepts of peace, freedom, prosperity, fair play, common human decency, and desire for international stability, which animate so much American political life.

— By promoting such beliefs, it induces Americans to think that the Soviets also enter international negotiations on a variety of subjects, including strategic arms limitation, with the same spirit of compromise and search for common ground that animates American diplomacy, as opposed to a spirit of seeking unilateral strategic advantage.

— It encourages Americans to believe that the Marxist-Leninist ideology is “dead.” If the Soviets are just like us, then they also must be just as pragmatic a people as we fancy ourselves to be – a problem solving people who are not inclined to be driven by abstract ideological formulations and passions. Once we are convinced that Marxism-Leninism could not possibly be believed anymore in the USSR, then we can be persuaded that this ideology and all its political-cultural ramifications are no longer operational. And once we accept this premise, we can easily conclude that the entire “genetic code” of the Soviet system has changed. Under such circumstances, neither Soviet domestic nor foreign policy would contain any of those ideological elements which incline it necessarily toward ideologically-imposed conformity with its resultant tyranny at home and expansionism and subversion abroad. If Marxism-Leninism were dead, then there would be no longer any reason for the Kremlin to fear Americans for “who they are” as opposed to “what they do.” What American ideology does exist could no longer represent a threat to Soviet Communist legitimacy. And with this ideological source of tension no longer a factor, the Cold War would, perforce, have to be over.

— Once, of course, this line of reasoning is accepted, the process of American political and psychological disarmament is well advanced, which serves as a necessary prelude to physical disarmament, the ultimate goal.

Neutralization of Foreign Constituencies

Cultural exchanges as a vehicle of active measures also serve another major foreign policy objective: the neutralization of major Western political constituencies so that they will no longer participate in any political consensus in favor of strong national defense policies or in favor of resisting Soviet policies that may be inimical to U.S. interests. This is achieved through the employment of a number of psychological techniques:

— Exchanges exploit American naivete and ignorance of foreign cultures in general and Soviet political culture in particular. Because of the widespread deficiencies in foreign language and area studies, many Americans – even many of those professionally concerned with foreign affairs – fail to understand soviet political culture on its own terms, and therefore often fail to conceive of the possibility that Soviet participation in exchanges may be for purposes other than those held by Americans.[14]

— Once directly involved in an exchange, an American participant has made a personal, political, and intellectual investment which is difficult to discard even if, by chance, it should be revealed to him that the exchange had been used or abused by the Soviet participant(s) for different purposes than his own – purposes which may be contrary to U.S. security interests. And it is even more difficult to admit the possibility that one may actually have been deceived or manipulated by one’s fellow exchanges for propaganda purposes. Under such conditions of “psychological denial,” the mental attitudes of most American exchange participants toward the USSR may be profoundly transformed.

The same process used by East bloc seduction agents – only to a lesser degree of intensity – is at work in cultural, professional and other people-to-people exchanges. In a typical example of the former, a Soviet KGB Lothario will seduce and ultimately propose marriage to an aging, unmarried secretary, who is highly placed in the NATO defense establishment, and whose long-unfulfilled hopes for love and marriage seem finally to have come true. As has happened in such cases, the woman in question first refuses to believe that her new-found lover is really an agent of the KGB, and later, out of sympathy for his situation and fear of losing him, may ultimately transfer her loyalty from her country to him.[15]

Thus, when personal relationships and even friendships are forged through the unusual, dramatic, and occasionally exotic psychological dynamics of the cross-cultural exchange process, American participants will tend to discount the possibility that their new Soviet friends may be intelligence agents, technology thieves, or professional propagandists sent to fool them. Admitting to the possibility that one may have been deceived is rare among people who consider themselves intelligent. And when it is conceded that Ivan may be a KGB agent, the gravity of whatever activities he may be pursuing is frequently minimized.

— Exchanges often involve substantial elements of professional and even financial self-interest and can thereby neutralize Western civic, cultural, and professional groups much in the way that East-West trade tends to neutralize Western business constituencies.

When an American company makes a significant investment in a trade arrangement with the USSR, it suddenly develops a vested interest in the kind of stability in U.S.-Soviet relations that will reduce the political risks associated with a given contract. It will therefore be loathe to see the U.S. Government undertake any policies which may anger the USSR – including the development or deployment of new defense systems, or, as was the case in the early years of the Reagan Administration, the very act by the President of telling the truth to the American people about Soviet behavior. Similar kinds of vested interests may be true of cultural impresarios, non-profit international exchange organizations, university professors, and others.

While the potential for developing vested interests is clear enough in the case of impresarios and exchange organizations, it is less apparent for others such as those in the academic world. In the latter case, professors may develop a felt need to travel to the USSR for the purposes of field work. In earlier periods, when securing a visa was not always assured (at this writing, there is still no such guarantee for some Western analysts), visiting scholars in certain politically sensitive fields faced two possible threats if their written products displeased Soviet authorities: a) future visas might not be granted or b) access to research sources and highly placed officials might be curtailed. Just as Western news organizations are compelled to censor their own reports from Moscow for fear that the Kremlin will expel their reporters or close down their Moscow bureaus, the vested interest of scholars in retaining access can have a corrupting:’ effect on their scholarship.[16]

Harnessing the Energies of the Politically Compatible

Exchanges may also serve Soviet foreign policy objectives by providing a convenient forum to mobilize political constituencies in the West which are either sympathetic toward the Soviet Union and the political vision it represents or which are predisposed toward methods of achieving East-West détente which are compatible with Soviet interests. Among the attitudes easily exploitable by the Soviets are the following:

— The belief that conflict resolution is possible between East and West through the exhibition of “relentless goodwill.”[17] This attitude is based on the belief that there is no innate hostility on the part of communist regimes toward Western democracy, or put another way, that ruling Communist Parties see no threat to their claim to legitimacy emanating from the mere existence of Western democratic societies and ideas. Armed with this conviction, its advocates stress that peace and harmonious East-West relations can simply be brought about by greater forbearance, generosity, and sensitivity toward the USSR and the feelings of its leaders.

— The belief that Soviet behavior can be changed in a fundamental way to be peacefully inclined toward the West if we only administer the correct external stimulus.  That correct stimulus is to treat the USSR as if it were a normal member of the community of nations: i.e., with respect, with a priori friendliness, with no undue suspicion, and with the attitude that it is run by a truly legitimate government. According to this prescription, by treating the USSR as if it were a normal state, we can teach it to behave like one. This pedagogic approach toward the Soviet Union, like many related approaches, assumes that the USSR does not have a genetic code that inclines it to behave in certain ways toward its own people and toward foreign nations, or that this genetic code can be altered by external stimulus.

— The belief that all that is necessary to achieve East-West harmony is to construct an array of cooperative arrangements based on common interests shared by both sides.  If a large enough array of such cooperative projects can be assembled, then, according to this theory, the sum of common interests actively engaged will outweigh the differences between both sides, submerge or vitiate the concerns which represent the real source of tensions, and fundamentally transform the nature of East-West relations. This belief depends also on the premise that Soviet foreign policy is not fundamentally a product of the nature of the Soviet domestic system and the political requirements that must be fulfilled for the protection and perpetuation of Communist Party power. In other words, this belief, as well, rejects the existence of a genetic code that genetic code that guides Soviet behavior.

— The belief that what is needed to transform relations between East and West is better mutual understanding, which can be achieved in a major way by more exchanges.  This theory essentially posits that East-West tensions are not the product of conflicting concerns, but rather the result of a giant misunderstanding or, at least, the lack of mutual understanding. Once again, this belief depends on the absence of an ideological basis for Soviet behavior and posits that the USSR is like most conventional states insofar as its foreign policy is principally reactive and not pro-active. Once again, it is assumed that the Soviet system is easily susceptible to external stimulus which can change the fundamental direction of its foreign policy.

— The belief that the source of tensions can be found in the primitively suspicious mindsets of the “hardliners” on both sides that fuel each other through the arms race. The ultimate solution to the problem conceived this way, of course, is arms control and disarmament.  But given the difficulties erected by the hardliners against achieving this goal, a preliminary step is necessary: the peace-minded forces on both sides must work with each other to build links of trust and cooperation that can serve to isolate arms control skeptics and hardliners and stigmatize them as warmongers or at least as impediments to world peace. In practice, of course, since there is no manifest opposition to arms control in the Soviet Union, the targets of this cooperative alliance are invariably arms control skeptics in the West.

By appealing to the various communities which entertain these and other similar beliefs, and working to expand exchanges which center around these themes, the Kremlin essentially mobilizes a set of politically significant constituencies in the West to serve its interests.  The results are several: a specific, politically-favorable theory about the nature of the Soviet system and its foreign policy is promoted in an institutionalized way; certain specific, dubious theories about the source of East-West tensions are similarly promoted; confusion is sown in the minds of Western publics about the true nature of the Soviet system and foreign policy and the true sources of tension; and ultimately there is the erosion of the political consensus in support of strong defense – a political consensus based on proper public understanding of Soviet political realities and patterns of behavior.

Recent Historical Background of Cultural Exchange

Cultural relations between East and West in general and between the United States and the Soviet Union in particular follow a roller coaster rise dictated by the tone of overall East-West relations.  Many types of exchanges blossomed during the détente period following the May 1972 Moscow summit between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev, which resulted in the signing of numerous exchange and mutual cooperation agreements in a variety of fields. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, however, prompted the United States to stop or drastically reduce most of these relationships.

Soon after that invasion as the fall of 1982, sentiment grew within the U.S. government to revive the network of exchanges in the interest of improving relations with Moscow. With the active encouragement of many U.S. international exchange organizations, the Reagan Administration began to reverse the “freeze” on exchanges with the Soviets, and did so by abandoning the previous de facto policy of linking such exchanges to Soviet international behavior. This reversal first took the form of the renewal of numerous mutual cooperation agreements, e.g., the Housing and Construction Cooperation Agreement (which was renewed in the wake of, and despite, the initiation of Soviet carpet bombing of Afghan villages). The policy culminated with two major agreements at the 1985 Geneva summit between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev: 1) the signing of a new cultural exchange agreement involving arts groups, professors, journalists and government officials; and 2) an agreement on President Reagan’s “Geneva Exchanges Initiatives” which envisioned a vast expansion of “people-to-people” exchanges in order to enhance mutual understanding between both sides.

What is noteworthy about these two developments is that they reflected a decision by each government to use exchanges as a means of political influence over the other.  President Reagan, on the one hand, was interested in emphasizing large-scale youth exchanges because, (given the impressionability of young people) in his words, “this will help break down stereotypes, build friendships and, frankly, provide an alternative to propaganda.”[18] The propaganda he refers to here is Soviet domestic propaganda against the United States. The Soviets, on the other hand, resisted the American initiative to involve large numbers of young people, and instead bargained for smaller scale educational, medical and sports exchanges.

This brief diplomatic tussle over the scale of youth exchanges exposed certain disparities between the policies of both countries. While both sides sought to use exchanges as a means of dispelling the domestic “propaganda” of the other, there were differences between both governments’ sense of vulnerability and thus their positions regarding participants. Whereas the American side envisioned the greater involvement of average citizens including young people, the Soviet emphasis on minimizing large-scale involvement by youth in favor of more traditional Soviet exchange participants would enable the Kremlin to exercise better control over the levels of political reliability of its own exchanges. As the patterns of Soviet exchange participation have made clear, Moscow retains an abiding interest in sending out politically reliable propagandists as much as possible.[19]

Avoiding large scale youth exchange also enabled the Kremlin to minimize exposure of impressionable youth to Western ideas that could corrode the Communist Party’s claim to legitimacy.

While Moscow has indeed subjected its people to Western visitors through these exchanges, and to Western ideas through its policy of glasnost’, it has done so with considerable caution, attempting to limit the intrusion of most foreign influences to major cities such as Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev – which, not coincidentally, are among the only places in the vast country that have experienced any significant degree of reform.

In contrast, the United States embarked on its policy of expanding exchanges with too little sense of being vulnerable to Soviet propaganda or other abuses of the exchange process such as espionage or technology theft. As a result, the U.S. Government and exchange organizations have exhibited almost no concern about the nonreciprocal character of the participants in most exchanges: average American citizens on the one hand, and professional Soviet propagandists on the other. In the case of many professional exchanges where the participation of genuine physicians or scientists is required, the Kremlin’s practice has been to impose intelligence and/or propaganda tasks on its exchangees as the price of being given permission to participate.

The initiation of several new Soviet domestic and foreign policies in 1985 helped create an international atmosphere much more favorable to Soviet cultural diplomacy.  On the one hand, the policies of glasnost’ (publicity), perestroika (restructuring), uskoreniye (acceleration), and later, demokratizatsiya (democratization) gave the world the impression that the entire Soviet system was radically liberalizing. On the other hand, the “new political thinking” in Soviet foreign policy, which stressed solving “common human problems” with policies of international “cooperation” seemed to be replacing the traditional policies of solving “class-based” problems with various forms of class struggle.[20]

As a result, Soviet cultural diplomacy burgeoned not only with the United States, but throughout the Western world. In Europe, the already substantial Soviet public diplomacy effort was launched into a new phase of sophistication in 1985 and expanded rapidly during 1986-1987. For example, Soviet informational activities in 1986-87 were more than double the number during the previous year.[21] Meanwhile, Soviet cultural exchange agreements were renewed or signed for the first time with numerous countries. And the nature of the activities pursued under these arrangements broadened from the previous emphasis on peace and disarmament to include a wider variety of social and cultural themes.[22]

The types of cultural diplomacy conducted by the Soviets are extremely diverse.  What follows is a review of these activities as they have been implemented during the Gorbachev era. As this review will reveal, the intensification of this kind of diplomacy and the remarkable effectiveness it has achieved demonstrate that Soviet power must be measured in categories other than simply the military.

Academic Exchanges

Scholarship diplomacy has been an essential element of Soviet foreign policy for decades. Moscow has regularly offered thousands of scholarships to students from around the world – particularly the Third World. Institutions like the Patrice Lumumba Friendship University in Moscow have trained and indoctrinated several generations of foreign students. Whereas some of these students were successfully recruited to the communist cause, many others were alienated – either by the heavy-handedness of Soviet propaganda or by frequent encounters with Soviet racism. While some Western observers claim that such counterproductive results signify the political failure of Soviet scholarship diplomacy, it should be noted that the Kremlin has seen fit to continue this policy nevertheless. It can be argued that the Soviets need only secure the friendship or loyalty of just a small percentage of visiting students to build the network of foreign friends and agents of influence needed to serve their purposes.

Traditional scholarship programs with the West have never been nearly as large as those with the Third World. They have mostly involved Russian language and other Slavic studies. For years, U.S.-Soviet academic exchanges were run mainly by five different institutions: 1) the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), which has administered research exchanges, especially in the social sciences and humanities; 2) the National Academy of Sciences, which runs a scientific exchange program with the USSR Academy of Sciences; 3) the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which administers fellowships under the Fulbright program to enable American scholars to teach at Soviet institutions; 4) the State University of New York, which has sponsored several exchange programs with such Soviet institutions as the Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow and Moscow State University; and 5) the Mid-West Universities Consortium for International Activities which has run an exchange program with Moscow State University.[23]

Over the past several years, however, East-West academic exchanges of other types have greatly expanded as Soviet authorities have sought to bolster their new image of openness, and as Americans have sought new ways of expanding contacts with broader elements of Soviet society. The various forms they have taken can be seen in the following examples:

— At the invitation of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the American Foreign Policy Council in conjunction with the Independent University (an institution started by Soviet emigre physicist and mathematician Edward Lozansky) co-sponsored a Moscow summer School for Soviet intellectuals, students and government officials in 1989.  The school’s lecturers consisted of a group of prominent American conservative academicians. Its purpose was to explore the possibilities both in theory and practice of establishing a university in Moscow that would be independent of the state.[24]

— In 1990, the American-Soviet University was established for the purpose of exchanging professors and students between the two countries. The University has American professors teaching economics, business administration, and computer science, while Soviet professors are to teach theoretical physics, mathematics, and Russian language.  Involved in the founding of this institution as well was Independent University director, Edward Lozansky.[25]

— Other educational programs, both in free enterprise education for Soviet students, and on East-West trade for both Soviet citizens and American businessmen, have been developed jointly by American and Soviet educational institutions. One of these was a program sponsored by the Harvard Business School and a Soviet government institute.[26]

— A student at Moscow State University enrolled in 1989 at Emory University as the first Soviet citizen to seek a degree from an American college. The apparently unprecedented nature of this development was highlighted by the fact that, only two years before, a Soviet student admitted to Columbia University had to give up her Soviet citizenship to accept the offer. The Emory administration pronounced the new enrollment as an extraordinary sign of change in the Soviet Union.[27]

— In 1989, a new multi-faceted educational venture jointly sponsored by Soviet and American partners was launched: the so­called “Humanus” Project.  The proximate sponsor of this project was the Soviet-American Foundation/”Cultural Initiative,” which, in turn, was started two years earlier by the U.S.-based Soros Foundation and the Cultural Foundation of the USSR. The Humanus Project involves an ambitious agenda, including the establishment, with Western help, of: the Humanus Club, a Humanus research center, the Humanus University, Humanus magazine, a Humanus publishing center, and a Humanus Foundation.  These are all designed to: “revive and strengthen creative potential of humanitarian knowledge” in the USSR; “create a cultural environment and a theoretical framework to develop a reform concept in the USSR, which could provide a conceptual and spiritual basis to move ahead into the future with the backing of a national accord;” and “to speed up the development of an adequate public self-image and its social carrier – a new breed of intellectuals, to help our socium to identify itself in terms of modern civilization, to find its place there.”[28] The project is headed by Sergei Chernyshov, a former department head in the All-Union Research Institute of Foreign Economic Relations, and former chief political adviser to the Chairman of the Committee of Youth Organizations of the USSR.

— Celebrity professors from the USSR have taken visiting teaching positions at prominent American universities. For example, Sergo Mikoyan, the son of Anastas Mikoyan, former Politburo member and associate of Stalin and Khrushchev, was engaged to teach Soviet history at the University of Chicago in 1990. A Communist Party member, Mikoyan has been editor of Latinskaya Amerika, the premier Soviet journal on Latin America.[29] The same year, Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Nikita Khrushchev, was hired to teach at Harvard University as part of its Institute of Politics fellows program. He was joined in the program by the ubiquitous, longtime Washington correspondent for the Soviet government newspaper, Izvestiya, Melor Sturua.[30]

— There has been a proliferation of Soviet participation in Western academic conferences on international politics, of which the most prominent and consistent feature has been the display of differences not between Soviet and American participants, but among the Soviet participants themselves. Western audiences have regularly been treated to debates between the “new thinking” and the more ideologically-charged nostrums of the “old thinkers.” Given that almost all of the “new thinkers” who have participated in these conferences were Party apparatchiks or propagandists who faithfully served the authorities during Brezhnev’s “era of stagnation,” there is a legitimate question as to how many of these debates may have been staged for enthusiastic Western audiences.[31]

— There have been major exchanges between U.S. and Soviet historians to examine many of the historical truths which had been obscured over the years by ideologically-dictated and Party­ approved histories. In April 1990, the history section of the Soviet Academy of Sciences invited fifty prominent Western Sovietologists and historians to help Soviet scholars wrestle with many of the most difficult questions concerning the Soviet past.[32] Another prominent example was a major conference sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace which called American and Soviet scholars together in July 1990 to examine the origins of the Cold War.[33]

— Various Soviet institutions, in collaboration with American organizations, have organized conferences on such subjects as democracy, constitutionalism and development of a market economy. The main theme has been to solicit advice from Western experts and politicians on how to reform the USSR. A prominent example is a conference on legislative democracy and constitutionalism organized by the CPSU Central Committee’s Social Sciences Institute and several American organizations, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Congressional Research Service, and the National Academy for State Government. This conference was addressed by USSR Vice President G.I. Yanayev, who explained that the building of a “rule-of-law state” is a lengthy process, but that it has become possible since “perestroika has already brought Soviet society freedom and democracy.”[34]

Through these various exchanges, the number of Soviet scholars teaching and researching at American institutions has burgeoned. In addition to those participating in the traditional reciprocal academic exchanges, some 1200 other Soviet scholars have visited the United States during the 1990-91 academic year.[35] Direct university-to-university exchanges have also increased greatly, expanding beyond the traditional centers in Moscow and Leningrad. This have involved links between such universities as Kentucky, Tufts, Michigan, Oregon State, Maine, and Arizona with the Vladimir Politechnical Institute, the Mendeleyev Institute of Chemical Technology, the Moscow Aviation Institute, the Kiev Poytechnic Institute, Kharkov State University, and the Alma Ata Pedagogical Institute. On top of all this, there has even been a modest expansion of undergraduate educational exchanges.[36]

The fact that there has been such a major expansion of exchanges into regions such as these indicates that the level of central Soviet control over those who come into contact with foreigners must necessarily be diminished. In this sense, the opportunities for Western ideas to penetrate the minds of those whose political reliability is not completely assured have increased, and thus, the possibilities of intellectual subversion have increased commensurately.

Two interesting questions arise here – questions that may not be easily answered: 1) to what extent has this loosening of central control been a deliberate enlightened policy or the unintended consequence of a thaw necessitated by economic crisis and the need to seek Western goodwill and assistance?[37] and 2) to what degree may the Soviet central authorities have possibly concluded that the political risks of Western contacts with broader elements of Soviet society are outweighed by the foreign policy benefits to be gained from penetrating the West with false propaganda messages via Soviet cultural diplomacy?

Air Shows

A significant form of both cultural diplomacy which frequently augments Soviet commercial interests is participation in air shows of different kinds. Some of these involve the display of such aircraft as the behemoth An-225, which the Soviets proudly advertise as the world’s biggest civilian transport airliner.[38] Others involve exhibitions of military and space aircraft and technologies.[39] Participation in such shows is designed not only to sell Soviet aircraft but to impress the world with the advances of Soviet technology.

In one recent case, the 1989 Paris Air Show, where Moscow presented the largest array of its air power ever displayed in the West, the acrobatic performance of one of its futuristic fighter aircraft, the SU-27, astonished the experts and captured the limelight. At the same show, despite a major setback, the crash of a MiG-29, the successful ejection of its pilot earned him hero’s plaudits from the French media. The same show witnessed some of the first unofficial contacts between Western and Soviet pilots, including a Soviet invitation to American pilots to sit in Soviet cockpits.[40]

Another example of the more explicit use of air displays for cultural diplomacy purposes was a display of American and Soviet military jets streaking across the sky in joint formation for the first time as part of the opening ceremony of the 1990 Goodwill Games sponsored by American businessman Ted Turner.[41] A week later, another similar and unprecedented event was to take place: U.S. F-15 fighters from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska escorting two Soviet MiG-29 fighters across American air space en route to a Canadian air show in British Columbia. This mission, which was “designed to enhance superpower cooperation,” was also marked by Soviet expressions of interest in exchanging rides with U.S. and Canadian pilots. According to a Soviet affairs official at the Department of State, “Everyone feels good about this one. It’s just part of the loosening, the improvement of relations.”[42]

The Soviet understanding of the political effects of such displays and exchanges was revealed by the fact that Izvestiya made a point of reporting the remarks of the Deputy Commander of the People’s Republic of China Air Force, who, in connection with a Sino-Soviet air show, spoke of the importance of the “role which cooperation between airmen is playing in promoting mutual understanding between our two peoples.”[43]

Fine Arts

The use of art as an instrument of propaganda has a long tradition in Soviet foreign policy. Beginning with the political poster art of the October revolution through the “socialist realism” art of the Stalin era until the present, there have been varying degrees of ideological control over art in order to create the desired political effects.[44] This has been exercised in a variety of ways, among which have been the requirement that artists join the official Artists Union, and in so doing make the pledge to devote all their artistic endeavors to the “construction of socialism.” Those artists who have refused to make this pledge and join the union have had to suffer in a variety of ways, depending on the severity of the political climate.

At times, the Soviet cultural authorities have seen fit to use the work of these same dissident artists when it suits official purposes. Permitting the works of such artists to be exported and displayed abroad may help stimulate curiosity about “Soviet” culture: because foreign audiences are likely to be unaware of any national or political spirit underlying the work of dissident artists that may be at variance with Sovietism, the fact that this art come from the USSR often redounds to Moscow’s benefit. For those aficionados who are aware of the dissident roots of these artists, the mere fact that their works have made their way to the West can indicate a new liberalism on the part of the authorities – which, again, serves Soviet political interests. The same is true of exhibits of paintings that were suppressed during earlier periods of Soviet history and hidden from view for many years.

The content of this “Soviet” art may also serve as an apparent barometer of political conditions within the USSR. The shift from Socialist Realism to a much more free-spirited and pluralistic modernism and individualism during the l980s mirrored the official relaxation of controls on civil society.[45] While this artistic transformation did reflect a genuine cultural and political thaw, there is some question as to whether the political changes of this period were as radical as the artistic ones. Although major changes have indeed occurred, there have also been continuities – such as the continued de facto monopoly of Communist Party power – which have been obscured by the barrage of headlines trumpeting change. (See a subsequent chapter for a detailed analysis of this issue.) The revolution in the artistic climate, however, does not seem to hint at the existence of such continuities. By serving as such a symbol of political conditions, the content of art exhibited to foreigners can thus be manipulated in the same way as other information.

Because of its ostensibly apolitical nature, art has proven to be a useful tool of foreign political influence regardless of the state of East-West relations. For example, American and Soviet arts institutions succeeded in maintaining relationships despite the reduction of East-West exchanges of the early 1980s.[46]

Major exchanges of art exhibits became a significant element of East-West cultural diplomacy during the Gorbachev era.

Examples included a tour of the United States by the Soviet exhibition of “Impressionist to Early Modern Paintings from the USSR” and a special exhibit of the work of Kazmir Malevich.[47] The Malevich exhibit is a classic example of the exhuming of suppressed art works which languished in the basements of Soviet museums for decades.[48] It is noteworthy that both exhibits received significant sponsorship from the longtime friend of the USSR, Armand Hammer.[49]

While most such exhibits do not necessarily utilize images with any specific political message, it is hard to believe that one such message was not intended in the decision to display one 19th century Russian painting witnessed by the author at the first of these two exhibits: the portrayal of a Russian peasant girl in idyllic bucolic surroundings with several white doves at her feet. One can only conclude from this dreamy scene that peace and serenity must be part of the genetic makeup of the Soviet/Russian people and that all they say about wanting peace must have deep cultural roots.

The use of pre-revolutionary Russian art, of course, has been a major technique of Soviet arts diplomacy. By displaying the magnificent aesthetic achievements of past centuries, the Soviet regime has sought to enhance its image by wrapping itself in the cultural mantle of times past. This has been the case not only with paintings, but with the display of sculpture and architecture in numerous Soviet journals targeted at foreign audiences. Such features regularly appear in journals such as Soviet Life, Soviet Woman, and many others.[50]

Symbolic of the vast scope of new East-West artistic relationships was the 1989 announcement by the Soviet embassy of the largest and most extensive exchange of exhibitions ever planned between the United States and the USSR. Involving nine major exhibitions on the two nations’ respective cultures, the plan was developed by the Soviet Ministry of Culture and “InterCultura,” a Texas-based museum service organization, whose work is explicitly designed to “promote international understanding by presenting the arts and achievements of one world culture to another.”[51]

Another example of the burgeoning arts exchange climate was a massive multi-media display of cultural diplomacy at the Goodwill Games and the Goodwill Arts Festival in Seattle in 1990. This festival included four major exhibitions of Russian and Soviet art. The exhibit of five centuries of Russian treasures – icons, armor, paintings, and jewelry – proved to be the biggest draw of the month-long festival.  It was accompanied by the first large-scale show anywhere focusing on Soviet “Constructivist” art, an exhibit on Alaska when it was Russian territory, and an exhibit of “Soviet Conceptual Art in the Era of Late Communism.”[52]

While these cultural displays and exchanges do not often contain overt political content, their political implications are clear when one hears the multitude of reactions of those involved. For example, as one of the producers of the Goodwill Arts Festival enthused: “This was supposed to be about world peace, but events passed us by, so now we’re all getting excited about how much there is to learn about each other’s art and common struggles.”[53]

The reactions of the various artists and performing artists who are part of this process can have an enduring and contagious effect when they return to the United States. For example, when American artist Edna Hibel held two exhibits in Leningrad, she was showered with the plaudits of enthusiastic admirers. She was greeted by several visitors bearing bouquets of flowers. One of her admirers described her as “a rare combination of knowledge and genius motivated by love and directed toward world peace.” She was invited to appear on television and two documentary films on her were made by join Soviet and American film crews. In the whirl of this experience, she observed: “Through love and friendship, on a person-to-person basis, each can be made aware of the another…. With love and peace, belief in people, a positive attitude, with glasnost and perestroika, new freedoms are appearing. It is all very exciting, and I wanted to be a part of it.”[54]

The sale of Soviet paintings has proven to be yet another avenue of arts diplomacy which has emerged during the recent period. In 1988, when certain approved forms of private commerce became legal, a new “cooperative” art gallery opened in Moscow: “Gallery M.” Its mission has been to sell paintings to the West. While local acclaim for its products has been “nil,” ninety-nine percent of its sales in Moscow have been to Western diplomats and tourists. In 1991, it incorporated a U.S. subsidiary, Compo International Ltd., in order to sell Soviet paintings in America. The company hopes to open an American gallery in the art gallery quarter in Washington, D.C.  While this operation seems to have all the hallmarks of a genuine private enterprise, the question of which enterprises are given permission by the Party to be private has been an intensely political one. Under the circumstances, one cannot exclude the possibility that this cooperative, like so many others in Gorbachev’s USSR, may be a de facto state enterprise, whose business activities are conducted for the economic or political benefit of the state.[55]

Beauty, Sex, and Fashion

A major new element of soviet cultural diplomacy has been the exploitation of feminine beauty, sex, and fashion in ways that mirror Western practices. While Soviet magazines produced for Western consumption have regularly featured the creations of Soviet fashion designers, there have been a number of new developments in this general field.[56] While many can be attributed to the policy of glasnost’, there have been enough activities aimed so explicitly at attracting Western attention that it can reasonably be argued that they form a pattern of cultural diplomacy.

Most prominent of these has been the initiation of beauty contests in the USSR similar to those in the United States. In June 1988, 16-year old Maria Kalinina was crowned Miss Moscow in the first such pageant. While the contest aroused ideological resistance from some quarters on grounds that it represented the embodiment of Western decadence, it was the beginning of an initiative in Soviet cultural diplomacy toward the West.[57]

The following year saw the first all-Union beauty pageant and the crowning of the first Miss USSR. The success of this operation ran into a little trouble, however, when Miss USSR, Yulia Sukhanova, publicly protested the restrictions placed on her by pageant officials, including demands by the pageant director to be alone with her, and when she refused, blocking business offers from the West. She did manage, however, to sign a five-year agreement with an American company, through the good offices of the Moscow Cultural Fund. But having done this by circumventing her immediate authorities, her trip was called off.[58]

In spite of all this, the pageant finals were the subject of a documentary featured on the Public Broadcasting Service television program, “Frontline,” that appeared nationwide. It portrayed everything from the contestants clad in skimpy swimsuits to reports on their ambitions and hobbies. As a complement to its cultural diplomatic effects, the contest was also geared toward attracting hard currency from foreign advertisers, modeling and acting contracts, and a connection with the Miss World contest.[59]

Subsequently, Miss USSR was put to use in her own “diplomatic” missions. She and Miss Latvia both appeared on the David Letterman television show in November 1990. Apparently, beauty, talent, and personality may not have been entirely sufficient qualities for them to win their crowns. Since both ladies happened to speak perfect English, one wonders if this specific foreign language proficiency may not have also been a contest qualification. Miss USSR was also dispatched on another such mission: to entertain the anti-Iraq coalition troops preparing for battle in the Persian Gulf zone.[60]

In a pathbreaking development in this field, the Soviet authorities unveiled the first “security services beauty queen.” In October 1990, the first “Miss KGB,” Katya Mayorova, was presented, “somehow making erotic work of strapping on her bullet-proof vest.” As Komsomolskaya Pravda reported, she wears the vest “with an exquisite softness, like a Pierre Cardin model.” But in addition to “mere beauty,” her attributes include the ability to deliver a karate kick “to her enemy’s head.” As the “Style” section of The Washington Post reports, “she plays the beauty queen role with abandon…and when she was asked to pose for a photo, she sidled up to a bust of [Cheka founder, Feliks) Dzherzhinsky and positively cooed.”[61] The contest for her title was privately held, however, and the number of contestants remains classified.

The appearance of thirty-two young Soviet women in Playboy magazine in a cover story on “The Women of Russia” marked another step in the same direction. While magazines of this sort have been forbidden in the Soviet Union for years and pornography of any sort has been intensively discouraged, the fact that Alexander Borodulin, a Soviet émigré photographer was permitted to return to the USSR to photograph naked ladies indicates not only the new spirit of glasnost’ but also a cultural policy decision. The photographic work on this project took three months in Moscow, the Black Sea resort of Sochi, and other locales.[62] Another example of the same phenomenon was a Soviet­themed issue of the French Magazine, Photo.[63]

As part of this overall pattern, Soviet fashion has taken a major leap forward in Western markets in recent years. For example, in the Monoprix store in Paris and Harrods in London, massive displays of genuine and ersatz Soviet goods are for sale, including army watches; “beriozka jeans;” Communist Party T­ shirts, pins and sunglasses; soap; bubble gum; stationery; shaving kits; Lenin T-shirts and buttons; etc. This trend has even included the rise and growing popularity of Russian restaurants such as “Perestroika” in Paris and “Borscht and Tears” in London.[64]

Meanwhile, in the United States, Bloomingdales announces that “Now that we’re friends, we can admit there’s some real style surfacing from the proletariat” – specifically, Soviet­-designed jeans with a metal plate on the waistband covered in Cyrillic lettering, each pair packed in a “plain utilitarian aluminum tin.” The store is also selling shirts with the red star and Soviet slogans.[65] US AIR advertises that the Soviet courier’s case it is selling “is destined to become a “valued comrade” on business trips.[66] And mail order businesses with names like “Thinkpeace” and “Russian Dressing” sell Soviet/American flag lapel pins, Soviet military belts, and USSR­US “Friendship Watches” to be worn as “peace-minded fashion statements.”[67]

While this phenomenon has been mostly a Western-generated fashion trend, the Soviets have done what they can to promote and capitalize on the rage. For example, Soviet fashion designers have appeared in Paris to display creations such as a Red Army uniform over a chiffon miniskirt and black and gold leggings, and dresses made of Soviet flags with ornate photos of Lenin.[68] Meanwhile, as part of the overall trend, Soviet girls have been sent to New York City to learn modeling, and practice a little public diplomacy while they are at it.[69]

Celebrities

A technique Moscow seems to have developed to perfection is that of romancing Western intellectual, political, literary, and artistic celebrities, in hopes that they could become conduits of Soviet cultural diplomacy to the rest of the Western world. A classic example of this took place during the Washington summit of December 1987 and was reported to Americans in an article entitled “Intellectual Seduction” in the New York Times Magazine by novelist Joyce Carol Oates, who was one of the invitees to a reception at the Soviet embassy. This reception was specially organized for a select group of American celebrities to meet the Gorbachevs.  The guest list included: Robert De Niro, John Denver, John Kenneth Galbraith, the Rev. Billy Graham, Bel Kaufman, George Kennan, Henry Kissinger, Norman Mailer, Robert McNamara, Paul Newman, Yoko Ono, Sydney Pollack, Carl Sagan, William Styron, and Cyrus Vance among others.[70]

The idea, of course, was to expose this group to the personal charms of Mikhail Gorbachev, to stroke their egos by treating them as important figures in international politics, and to utilize them as instruments to shape public opinion. At this event, Gorbachev exhibited all the charisma for which he has been heralded far and wide. As Oates described it:

Shaking Mikhail Gorbachev’s hand, looking the man in the eye – he is famed for making ‘eye contact’ and is clearly happiest in such quasi-intimate public situations – one comes away with the visceral certitude that this is a person of surpassing integrity; a man of the utmost sincerity; somewhat larger than life, perhaps. And so brimming with energy! And a sense of his own historic worth!…

…Gorbachev spoke with disarming candor of domestic Soviet problems, economic and moral; of the political necessities that brought glasnost into being; of his many-times­ reiterated hope for world disarmament and peace; of his sense of the world’s nations as ‘contradictory’ yet ‘integral.’

Such words and noble concepts are hardly new, but their utterance, by a Soviet leader of proven shrewdness and prescience, is certainly new; even rather astonishing …

…he is so practiced and charming a speaker that those of us who are usually stupefied by speeches remained attentive, even rapt, throughout…Though Paul Newman would afterward comment that Gorbachev is a gifted performer in whom you don’t see the ‘machinery’ of his technique, does it necessarily follow that histrionic gifts exclude sincerity?…

…the Gorbachevs were entering the room, and it was as if royalty had appeared in our midst….

…To shake hands with Gorbachev – that is, to have one’s hand shaken vigorously by Gorbachev – is to feel the grand conviction, no less powerful because it is absurd, that the man has hurried to you for this purpose alone; that, for a blurred moment, you are indeed the center of his universe…

Under the spell that Gorbachev had apparently cast so many of them, the guests responded, “almost rhapsodically,” histrionically, and with impassioned exclamations like: “We throw our arms open to you!”

Oates further described Gorbachev’s remarks as having been made:

“in warm seductive tones, employing words reminiscent of the social optimism of the 1960’s – ‘inter-relatedness, integral, global peace, democratization’ – and assuring us of matters that sounded almost literally too good to be true, as if our deepest, most desperate wishes were being uttered in an exotically foreign language.”

However, she also observed that

“Though the grim lessons of history suggest otherwise, and idealism’s trajectory usually falls off rapidly, man is, of all creatures, the hopeful animal; and it is a hard task to resist believing in the very things (above all, an end to the fanatic arms face of past decades) that we have been talking about for so long….

…he tells us things we desperately want to hear, as religious and political leaders have always told their listeners what is most desperately wanted. That Gorbachev comes from the far side of the world…only intensifies the drama of the situation… [he appeals to that part of) the human psyche that craves an other-worldly confirmation of our hopes for salvation, redemption, unique and individual worth…

Finally, she concludes:

…I was thinking, it is all too good to be true, but does it logically follow, then that it is not true; or that some of it, someday, might become true. We want so badly to believe…[71]

Oates shares with us a valuable description of the psychological dynamics of such a typical Gorbachevian courtship of a Western audience, which illustrates key factors of successful perceptions management. On top of his own personal charm, Gorbachev adeptly exploits what may be the two principal Western psychological vulnerabilities and impediments to seeing reality clearly: 1) the tendency to engage in “mirror-image” perceptions, that is, where we took upon others and their ideas and attitudes as the mirror image of our own; and 2) the tendency to engage in wishful thinking, or psychological denial, which most often takes the form of an unguarded optimism. The frequent result is an attitude that suspends all caution, skepticism or critical thinking.  Here, these tendencies take the form of hearing only what the audience “desperately” wants to hear. This combination of willing audience and skillful propagandist is the perfect recipe for self-deception.[72]

Citizens’ Exchanges

People-to-people diplomacy and citizens exchanges have played an enormous role in the overall U.S.-Soviet relationship since 1985. Over two hundred private American organizations have established links with mostly official, but occasionally unofficial, organizations in the USSR.[73] A full accounting of these relationships would be too extensive to catalogue here, but the following representative examples indicate the nature and scope of the bilateral effort.

— Sister cities International has increased its city-to-city relationships from six to about eighty during the past five years. The convening of over 100 American and Soviet mayors in Cincinnati in September 1991 is symbolic of the considerable scope of this effort.[74]

— The Chautauqua Institution and the USSR-USA Friendship Society jointly sponsored annual conferences for six years bringing together large delegations of government officials as well as citizens’ groups.  In the case of the Soviet citizens’ groups, the participants were mostly propagandists from Moscow’s USA Institute, from the Soviet media (such as Vladimir Posner) or from other Party-run organizations.[75] (The USSR-USA Friendship Society is one of the approximately eighty friendship societies united under the umbrella of the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. It is responsible for maintaining relations with more than nine thousand organizations in 141 countries, including coordinating such projects as sister-city relationships. It works in close coordination with a variety of other official Soviet organizations also involved in foreign propaganda.)[76]

— The Friendship Force and the Citizen Exchange Council have both organized exchanges with the USSR-USA Friendship Society.[77]

— A variety of exchanges have taken place across the Bering strait border between Alaska and Siberia. So many proposals of this sort have been made that the Alaskan Governor’s office felt it necessary to keep track of them. A delegation of politicians, journalists and Natives took a “Friendship Flight” from Nome to Provideniya in June 1988. This flight reunited Eskimo families separated by the U.S.-Soviet border since 1948. A Soviet icebreaker created a major media stir in the United States when it intervened to rescue two gray whales trapped in the Alaskan ice. Another Soviet ship joined the public relations effort by helping in the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. A ski-and­ sled-dog expedition trekked 1,200 miles from Anadyr to Nome. In 1987 Lynne Cox swam the two-and-one-half mile strait between Little Diomede and Big Diomede islands.  Alaskan Cub Scouts visited Provideniya at the invitation of the Soviet Young Pioneers. A Nome radio executive who accompanied them called the trip a “life-changing experience.” As part of this congeries of activities, the Governor of Alaska organized a ten-day “trade and friendship” mission to the Soviet Far East.[78]

There is much more. In Nome, cab drivers have begun accepting Soviet rubles. Bering Air has begun regular charter flights from Nome to Provideniya. Aeroflot began serving the Soviet Far East-Alaska air route in 1991. Among its first passengers were a troupe of Siberian folk dancers who danced upon arrival to the strains of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” as played by a band from Khabarovsk. There is talk of establishing a ferry service. Visa-free travel is now possible for Eskimos across the Bering Strait. Joint gold-mining, fishing, agricultural and telecommunications projects have been started. The University of Alaska has signed more than 20 agreements with Soviet scientists and Institutes. The Alaskom telephone company has installed a satellite link making intelligible phone conversations across the Strait possible for the first time. And a Nome public school is teaching a class in Soviet culture.[79]

A Nome real estate agent, Jim Stimpfle, has become the unofficial Alaskan ambassador to the USSR. While he uses his office as a de facto Soviet consulate, he spins out a myriad of proposals such as a trans-Bering marriage brokerage service, dual citizenship for Eskimos and the marketing of Soviet tundra as a novelty equivalent to the “pet rock.” In 1986, he erected a huge peace sign that made the front page a Moscow. “For 40 years,’ he explains, “we went through life thinking we had to hate them, but we’ve learned there is security in friendship.”[80]

— The first Rotary Club in the Soviet Union was set up under an agreement between Rotary International and the Soviet government.[81]

— Members of a Moscow cat club, concerned about the absence of rights to protect their feline friends from being made into hats, visited Britain to seek advice on how to promote better treatment of their pets.[82]

— Under the auspices of Mothers for Peace, the Boise Peace Quilt Project met on the Isle of Wight with members of the Soviet Peace Committee to join squares of a peace quilt made by members of both groups.[83] (The Soviet Peace Committee, formally known as the Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace, is a Communist Party-controlled “public organization” which downplays its Party connections while working specifically to promote “people-to­ people” contact with groups outside the USSR’s traditional network of supporters, to break down “harmful stereotypes” of the USSR, and to manipulate foreign perceptions of international issues.[84] It has been headed by Genrikh Borovik, a longtime propagandist and KGB agent who was once responsible for recruiting foreign journalists. He has retained close ties with the KGB through his brother-in-law is Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB. The Committee has more than 120 regional affiliates throughout the USSR that are capable of organizing “peace activities” at the local level and serving as political reliable hosts and propagandists for visiting Western delegations. It controls several “commissions” on disarmament, religion, art and culture and mass media, through which it attempts to coopt noncommunist groups of pacifists, journalists, clergy scientists and others in support of Soviet foreign policy.[85]

— Other groups such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the World Federalist Association have also conducted exchanges with the Soviet Peace Committee.[86]

— Soviet researchers, educators, writers, journalists, and a cosmonaut joined American travelers on a “peace cruise” down the Mississippi. The voyagers joined schoolchildren along the way to sing “We are the World.”[87] The cruise was sponsored by the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (NCASF}, a U.S.­ based front organization of the Communist Party USA that is largely financed and controlled by the Soviet Union.[88] The NCASF sponsors “Goodwill Tours” for visiting Soviet citizens, which enable KGB officers to travel to parts of America which have been closed to Soviet diplomats for reasons of national security and reciprocity.

The Mississippi Peace Cruise was modeled after seven previous Soviet-American peace cruises on the Volga River. In this case, the Soviet Peace Committee carefully selected the Soviet participants. One apparent product of the cruise was the drafting of the “People’s Peace Appeal,” a petition by the “peoples” of both the United States and the Soviet Union urging a nuclear test ban, a nuclear freeze, a transfer of resources from military to civilian needs, and, notably, an increase in people-to-people contacts.[89] In reality, the appeal was drafted several months earlier in Moscow by the veteran disarmament propagandist and intelligence operative, retired Lieutenant General Mikhail Milshteyn among others.[90] Altogether, this example of “citizen diplomacy” involved covert Soviet support, front group activity and deception as to when, where and by whom the appeal was drafted. The fact that such a covert political influence operation was used as a vehicle to call for more people-to­ people contacts reinforces the argument that the Kremlin sees most such contacts, on balance, as serving Soviet interests rather than threatening them.

Peace Links, an American group whose membership includes wives of Congressmen, has conducted exchanges with the Soviet Women’s Committee.[91] The Soviet Women’s Committee has also hosted and held “summits with other American groups, such as Women’s Dialogue US/USSR, American Women for International Understanding and others.[92] (The Soviet Women’s Committee is another Party­controlled “public organization” whose purpose is principally foreign propaganda targeted at women. It is the central controlling organization as well as Soviet affiliate of one of the major Soviet international front organizations, the Women’s International Democratic Federation.)[93]

— The Gay and Lesbian Union of Moscow (GLUM) has embarked on a cooperative effort with an American homosexual organization, Gay and Lesbian Watch, to work on the decriminalization of homosexual activity in the USSR.  GLUM’s representative, Roman Kalinin held a press conference in New York to urge American homosexuals to visit Moscow in 1990 on the occasion of “Gay pride Day.”[94] Meanwhile, Western European homosexual groups have produced a “Gay Pravda,” to be distributed in the USSR as a gesture of solidarity with Soviet homosexuals.[95]

— A 290-member Soviet delegation visiting Lawrence, Kansas created such a hit with the local residents that The New York Times was prompted to report that “The Russians are conquering the hearts of people in America’s heartland.” The Soviet delegation came to participate in a variety of events including a “Meeting for Peace.” The visitors were feted at a football game, a midnight basketball practice, a Soviet-American art show, and a gala at the University of Kansas which featured a circle of Indian dancers. The various “people-to-people” meetings and workshops focused on market economies, science, the environment, trade, and citizen diplomacy. As part of the trip, the daughters of World War II Soviet Marshal Georgi Zhukov attended a centennial celebration of the birth of President Eisenhower, who met with Zhukov at the end of the war.  The local newspaper carried a daily column of news from TASS to mark the spirit of the occasion.[96]

— Another Soviet delegation paid a similar visit to Dodge City, led by Yevgeni Primakov, one of Gorbachev’s top foreign policy advisers, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet’s council of the Union, and member of Moscow’s “A-team” of travelling propagandists. The trip came about when Primakov asked Senator Robert Dole if his group could meet some “real Americans.”  According to The New York Times, it was friendship at first sight, with warm handshakes, broad smiles, and exclamations of how wonderful it is that the two countries are warming up to each other.[97]

In a style increasingly characteristic of visiting Soviet “goodwill ambassadors,” Mr. Primakov demonstrated how well he had adopted the idiom and techniques of American politicians by “pressing the flesh,” signing autographs and using humor to answer tough questions. When asked at a “town meeting” about occupation forces in the Baltic states, he said he knew of no such occupying forces there and that this was a Soviet internal affair: “We promise you that for our part we’re not going to get involved in Kansas domestic affairs.” The audience loved it and responded with applause. When asked about how he thought the town meeting, he observed that most of the questions sounded as if they had been prepared in advance, “like it used to be in our country a little while ago.” When he and his group were made honorary deputy marshals by the mayor, Mr. Primakov rose to the spirit of the occasion: “I think from now on here in Dodge City you are going to have a lot of law and order.” When Senator Dole noted that the United States has 100 times as many cars as the USSR, Primakov shot back with a self-satisfied grin: “Great, we don’t spoil the environment as much as you do.” (This, notwithstanding the cascade of revelations in the Soviet press about countless environmental disaster areas festering in the Soviet Union.) One of Primakov’s fellow visitors, economist Nikolai Petrakov, demonstrated similar public relations skills through the use of self-deprecatory humor which took his Kansas hosts by surprise. He noted that Russian wheat grows only when it is “paid for with U.S. dollars.”[98]

— The New England Society of Newspaper Editors has conducted exchanges with the Soviet Union of Journalists, where Soviet journalists would work on the staff of American papers and American journalists would work on the staff of Soviet newspapers.[99] (The Soviet Union of Journalists is the Moscow­based control organization and local affiliate of the old-line Soviet front organization, the International Organization of Journalists. It is another Communist Party-run “public organization,” actively involved in centrally coordinated propaganda activities. It served as one of the “non­ governmental” sponsors of the Novosti Press Agency, and Radio Peace and Progress, two other Soviet propaganda arms.)[100]

— The Esalen Institute has promoted numerous exchanges with different Soviet organizations including the first televised “space bridge” between the two countries, and exchanges with the Soviet Writers’ Union.[101]

— One of these “space bridges” – a “citizens summit” – was broadcast on national television on the “Donahue” talk show in December 1986. Jointly produced with the Soviet State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting (Gosteleradio), another Communist Party-controlled propaganda organization, this space bridge pitted American television star Phil Donahue against veteran Soviet propagandist, Vladimir Posner, and an American audience selected by a Donahue associate. Although the American producers were assured that the Soviet citizen participants would be free to speak their minds, it seemed to this writer who viewed the proceedings, that their use of “wooden,” robot-like language revealed that if they were not official propagandists, most of the Soviet participants were still too afraid at that early stage of glasnost’ to utter anything other than the approved Party line.[102]

— There have been numerous attempts to exploit children for East-West political ends. The modern use of this technique began when General Secretary Yuri Andropov responded to the correspondence of Samantha Smith and invited here to visit the USSR in 1983. When she was killed by a plane crash in 1985, the Soviet government issues a postage stamp in her honor.[103] Moscow later sent the well-programmed eleven-year-old Katerina Lycheva on a peace and friendship tour of the United States. Later, another “space bridge” was set up by an American group, Peace Child, and Gosteleradio. The program reunited the Soviet and American children who participated in the Moscow Peace Child performances at the Children’s Musical Theater several months earlier.[104] The Consortium on New Educational and Cultural Ties with the Soviet Union (CONNECT) cosponsored a “Cooperation in Space” exhibit also at the Moscow Children’s Theater. The exhibit was destined for the Capitol Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C. at whose opening were to appear members of the Young Astronauts organization as well as young cosmonauts.[105]

— The Soviet government has adopted a decision to organize an international lottery to help the child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It has also organized charity concerts for the Chernobyl Children’s Fund at a major conference on global morals attended by delegates from twenty-five countries. White these endeavors are commendable on their face, the record of Soviet official callousness concerning the victims of Chernobyl is extensive enough that it is difficult to suppress speculation that there is a public relations component to these efforts: charity drives of this sort give the world the impression that the Soviet government is more concerned about human suffering than its behavior has demonstrated. (For example, according to the chairman of the legislative commission investigating Chernobyl, the Soviet Ministry of Nuclear Energy used the money donated by workers and pensioners and collected by children for the Chernobyl victims to pay off its own debts instead.)[106]

— The U.S. Peace Council (USPC) has invited Genrikh Borovik and other officials of the Soviet Peace Committee for a number of visits to the United States. One of these, the 1988 “Soviet­American Citizens’ Summit” in Alexandria, Virginia involved 120 Americans and 100 Soviets, among whom were Borovik and the ubiquitous General Milshteyn.[107] (The U.S. Peace Council is identified by the Department of State as the American affiliate of the largest Soviet international front organization, the World Peace Council. The key leadership positions of the USPC have always been held by members of the Communist Party USA, which guides its policies according to the Moscow Party line.)[108]

— International Peace Walk, Inc. has organized “Soviet-American Walks,” with Soviet citizens visiting the United States to walk with their hosts.[109]

— American veterans of the Vietnam war have conducted mutual support exchanges with Soviet veterans of the Afghanistan war.[110]

— Common interest in cuisine has been yet another venue for East-West cultural ties. For example, Soviet Woman, the organ of the Soviet Women’s Committee, organized a “Cookery Recipe Contest” which is open to readers of the magazine in all of the eighty countries where it is distributed.[111] Peace Table, a Seattle group that sponsors exchanges between food professionals, organized a visit for several Soviet chefs to the United States. When asked why they wanted to come, the chefs all responded with the stock answer: “peace through people-to-people diplomacy.”[112]

Culinary diplomacy took yet another form in the opening of the McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow in 1990. This event, in fact, was composed of several layers of relationships. In addition to the opening of the restaurant, there were other commercial, charitable, and cultural components:

1)           A major food distribution center was established in Moscow including meat, dairy, and potato processing plants using local resources and employees.[113]

2)           A community development program was initiated by McDonald’s in Moscow to reciprocate for the opportunity of doing business there. George Cohon, CEO of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited and Vice Chairman of Moscow-McDonald’s was appointed North American President and Director of the Soviet Children’s Fund, an organization set up in 1987 to provide assistance to orphans and disabled children. McDonald’s has helped raise money for the fund, in one case through helping to arrange the purchase of commercials for a television broadcast of the Toronto Santa Claus parade. Six orphans were flown by McDonald’s to ride in a Russian tea party float. This particular fund drive was coordinated with Gosteleradio. According to Cohan, “Our joint venture with the Soviets should help foster cooperation between nations and a better understanding among people.  When individuals from around the world work shoulder-to-shoulder, they learn to communicate, to get along, to be part of a team. That’s what we call burger diplomacy.”[114]

3)           McDonald’s principal shareholder, Joan Kroc, served as a major sponsor – donating $1 million – for a major three-week long Soviet arts festival in San Diego in late 1989. The Kremlin deemed the festival so significant that it dispatched the Acting Minister of Culture, Mikhail Gribanov to attend.[115] The Soviet­McDonald’s connection was symbolized by the presence of Ronald McDonald cavorting with scores of Soviet performers.[116]

These various examples of people-to-people diplomacy are by no means exhaustive. But they do cover a large enough cross section of civic groups and activities to illustrate how extensive the Soviet attempt has been to reach the grass roots of the American political process, and how many of the “tiny fasteners” linking the two countries the Soviets have sought to place.

The composition of the participants in these exchanges should also be noted. While the sample of cases chosen here has been picked solely with the idea of demonstrating the variety of exchanges, a review of this sample reveals that the Soviet participants in most exchanges tend to be representatives of official, Party-controlled organizations, many if not most of which exist principally for the purpose of conducting foreign propaganda and/or guiding the operations of Soviet international front organizations.

On the American side, a large proportion of exchange participants tend to come from peace-oriented groups that see exchanges as an instrument helping the process of reconciliation between the two countries. What is most noteworthy about the recent trend of American participation is that while peace groups continue to be the major catalysts for exchanges, increasing numbers of average citizens with no extremist or utopian political agendas have gotten involved. The explanation for this phenomenon most probably lies not in the political transformation of the American citizenry, but rather in the widespread perception that the entire Soviet system is changing so fundamentally that it no longer harbors the same domestic and foreign policy objectives which it pursued for seventy years.

Glasnost’, Human Rights, and Legal Diplomacy

A significant part of the Soviet effort to woo the West by portraying a new, reformed image has been its campaign to present itself as a born-again champion of human rights. This has been a multi-faceted effort intimately linked to the broader campaigns for glasnost’ and perestroika. Of those two reform programs, of course, the first has arguably had a more dramatic effect on Western perceptions of the USSR than any other single change in policy.

While glasnost’ is not, and was most assuredly not intended to be, full-fledged freedom of speech, it has resulted in enough of an increase in such freedom that Western observers are not misplaced in their astonishment. In fairness, however, it should be noted that most of the original and continuing purposes of glasnost’ involved policy objectives designed to address several of the Kremlin’s festering crises of legitimacy, the economy, and Party discipline, and thereby save the socialist system. With its continuing interest in appealing to the West reasons of disarmament and securing economic aid both for the Kremlin found itself effectively trapped: a major reversal of glasnostian liberalizations – which might be necessary to preserve the Party’s monopoly of power – could so alienate the West that the original foreign policy purposes of glasnost’ risked being undermined.[117]

Beyond the many well-publicized features of increased freedom to speak and publish, the Soviets have also taken a number of steps to liberalize some of the most oppressive elements of their system. Most prominent among these has been the campaign ostensibly to create a “rule of law state” and, in the process, reform their image of a brutal “Gulag” state.

In addition to a large-scale campaign to prettify the KGB (see the chapter on this subject below), a major part of this effort has involved a campaign to demonstrate the dismantling of various elements of the Soviet penal system, most notably the Gulag Archipelago and the psychiatric abuse of political prisoners.

Over the past few years, the Kremlin has reduced the number of people arrested for explicitly political reasons, diminished the severity of punishments for political dissenters, released a number of political prisoners, and published public discussions of the Gulag.[118] But while these changes of degree have taken place, the principles and infrastructure of this face of the Soviet penal system have remained essentially the same.[119]

To give the world the impression that a fundamental change of this system has taken place, however, the Kremlin has organized a series of guided tours of islands in the Gulag for Western journalists and political figures. One of the first journalists to make such a tour was A.M. Rosenthal of The New York Times, who was allowed in 1988 to visit one of the most notorious of such camps, Perm 35. While the Soviet authorities attempted to give him the impression that there were no more political prisoners there, he, in commendable contrast to others who were granted such privileged tours in earlier years, detected otherwise, and brought the world the story of the plight of the beleaguered souls unjustly imprisoned there.[120] The Soviets had attempted to dress the place up for him in the same way that Solzhenitsyn described a similar prison visit by a Western dignitary decades earlier: with fresh paint, fresh light bulbs, and a supply of fresh dairy products for the inmates. As a result, two American Congressmen endeavored to make their own visit to the camp, and in an effort to maintain glasnost’ and repair some of the public relations damage wrought by the Rosenthal trip, the Kremlin gave them permission.[121] At this writing, political prisoners continue to be kept at Perm 35 and elsewhere.[122]

Another component of this effort to flush the Gulag down the “memory hole” has involved taking Western journalists to Siberian camps which have been closed down for many years. These tours portray the chilling image of slave labor under conditions of extreme cold and starvation in the most remote and mountainous reaches of Siberia.  But the Soviet portrayal contained one caveat: all this was something that happened long ago and no longer today. The very act of sharing this bitter memory with the West could itself be seen as a cathartic act of contrition and civic reconciliation – yet another sign that the Soviet regime has irrevocably broken with its terroristic past both institutionally and in spirit.[123] But it also served to obscure those islands of the Gulag that continue to function and to imprison people who would not be considered criminals in any Western country.

The Kremlin’s invitation to the relatives of Raoul Wallenberg can be interpreted in the same light. Wallenberg, the courageous Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II, was seized by the Soviets in early 1945 and incarcerated in Soviet prisons for years. While Moscow has asserted that he died not long after imprisonment, any witnesses have claimed to have seen him over the years.  With no firm confirmation of his fate, continued Soviet equivocation on the issue, and a persistent Western human rights campaign to end the Soviet cover-up, the Wallenberg issue has been a constant sore point in East-West relations. Moscow’s attempt to settle the matter by persuading the diplomat’s family of the truth of Soviet claims through talks with “high-ranking” officials appears to be another effort to remove a human rights concern from the array of irritants to Soviet relations with much of the world.[124]

A parallel effort to put a good face upon the Soviet system has been the psychiatric glasnost’ campaign. Having faced the threat of expulsion from the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) because of its abuse of psychiatry for penal purposes, the USSR resigned from that body in 1983. In the fall of 1988, however, Moscow reapplied for admission – the decision on which was to be made by the WPA one year later.  Its strategy to secure readmission consisted of a major effort to demonstrate to the world that psychiatric abuse was no longer a feature of the Soviet penal system.  As part of this effort, the Kremlin agreed to accept an unprecedented visit to Soviet psychiatric facilities by a delegation of American mental health experts in early 1989.

For all the political risks that this visit entailed, the Soviets calculated that its strategic benefits would be greater. The fact that foreign psychiatrists could make such an investigation would represent tangible evidence of openness and therefore of change in the moral character of the regime. And no matter what the findings of the U.S. delegation, the very fact of the visit might be enough to sway the WPA to agree to Moscow’s readmission.

Upon its return from its fact-finding trip, the U.S. delegation testified that although there had been some reforms in the Soviet psychiatric system, mentally healthy individuals were still being imprisoned and drugged in psychiatric hospitals for their political views. Furthermore, it found that Soviet psychiatry was still dominated by the same officials who presided over the previous patterns of rampant abuse.[125] In spite of this report, the Kremlin kept up its campaign, which was topped off by an eleventh-hour move to sway American and international opinion on Soviet behavior in this field. A senior Soviet embassy official, Georgi Markosov, appeared before a Congressional health subcommittee to testify that the Kremlin had created a new “independent commission” to ensure that mental hospitals would not be used to imprison political prisoners.  He also declared that Western representatives would be allowed to visit any mental patient in the USSR whose case “cannot be resolved” by that commission.[126]

Despite the skepticism of the American Psychiatric Association and other Western experts and the opposition of Soviet human rights activists, the Soviet campaign achieved its proximate goal two weeks later. The WPA voted to readmit the Soviet Union with the proviso that it could be suspended if psychiatric abuse continues.[127] Since then there have been more reports of continued abuse of psychiatry for political purposes.[128]

Among the various reasons behind this Gulag/psychiatric glasnost’ campaign was the Kremlin’s desire to demonstrate to the West that because it now has nothing to hide, Moscow is a deserving locale for the “human rights” conference under the auspices of CSCE. If such a conference could take place in Moscow with the assent of Western governments, then this would represent a Western stamp of approval that the USSR is no longer a systematic violator of human rights.   What is notable about this issue is that, in fact, the conference was supposed to be an “experts” conference pursuant to the Basket Three humanitarian cooperation provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, and not the “human rights” provisions of Basket One. The fact that almost all international discussion has marked it as a “human rights” conference is testimony to the success of Soviet efforts to define the international terms of debate and the sloppiness of Western diplomacy on these matters. The result is that the ultimate convening of this conference labeled this way can only bestow greater prestige for the Kremlin than it otherwise would gain.

The Soviet attempt to show that these quasi-liberalizations are all part of a major institutional reform process – the shift to a “rule-of-law state” – has involved a heavy emphasis on wooing the American legal profession.  Appealing to such a numerous and influential professional group has been a hallmark of recent Soviet political strategy. This emphasis has partially replaced the former heavy Soviet investment in its main front organizations, which the Kremlin seems to have concluded were decreasingly effective in swaying Western policies.

The central organizations coordinating this influence campaign have been the Institute on State and Law of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and its sister or subsidiary organization, the Association of Soviet Lawyers (ASL). The State and Law Institute, whose international activities are guided by the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee, has played a longtime role in international propaganda work.[129] For years, it was the Soviet affiliate and the central controlling organization of the main Soviet front for the international legal community, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL).  In the 1980s, apparently under the auspices of the State and Law Institute, the Association of Soviet Lawyers emerged, and then became the new Soviet affiliate of the IADL.[130]

It is difficult to make generalizations about all the Soviet members of these organizations. Many of them have all the typical characteristics of Soviet propagandists.  But others appear to be genuine reformers who have broken with the Leninist system, have been trying to change it, and have been tolerated by the authorities – perhaps enjoying the protection that comes with being known to the West at a time when Moscow has been seeking Western favors. What is intriguing is whether some of those who appear to espouse revolutionary ideas are being truthful in their utterances or are adopting the propaganda technique of telling Western audiences what they want to hear even though it may be at odds with the interests of the nomenklatura.

For example, Aleksandr Yakovlev, who has been heading the criminal law section of the State and Law Institute, delivered what appeared to be a subversive lecture to the New York City Bar Association, entitled: “Transforming the Soviet Union into a Rule-of Law Democracy.” He said that the chief obstacle to true democracy and rule of law was the lack of a free market economy and a property-owning middle class.[131] Given that a true free market economy would mean a major erosion, if not the end, of the Communist Party’s monopoly of power, Yakovlev’s recommendation could well be interpreted as being completely at odds with Party policy.

There are indications, however, that so much of Soviet talk about adopting a “free market economy” and “privatization” may involve semantic legerdemain. For example, one of Gorbachev’s chief economic advisers, Abel Aganbegyan, recently explained to a session of the Supreme Soviet: “Privatization is not a switch to private property.”[132] This clarification, which is reminiscent of so many of Leonid Brezhnev’s explanations to the cadres that “peaceful coexistence” means a new form of struggle with capitalism and not ideological coexistence, can only inspire suspicion of the use of “free market” terminology in front of Western audiences.

In light of all this, assessing the true direction of Yakovlev’s politics must be made by judging other elements of his rhetoric and analysis. He states, for example, that the USSR suffers from “lots of freedom and a lack of bread” – “a combustible mixture,” which puts the possibility of democratic transformation in “a race against time” to avoid “chaotic conditions” which may “compel people to adopt drastic measures.” This formulation contains enough material from standard Soviet propaganda that the observer is not misplaced in being skeptical. The reference to “lots of freedom” as part of the problem in the USSR could conceivably refer to the inability to accept individual responsibility by people long accustomed to taking orders. It could even mean the lack of consensus – once achieved by coercion – in a new climate of a cacophony of voices. There are other possible legitimate explanations.  But for all the liberalizations that have occurred, the talk about “lots of freedom” posing a problem is just as likely to be a propagandistic exaggeration of what actually has been achieved as anything else. The reference to a “race against time” is a theme fully in concert with the Soviet campaign of threats and entreaties designed to extract a Western economic bailout. (See the chapter below on this Soviet campaign.) And the reference to “chaotic conditions” that may prompt “drastic measures” is in consonance with the standard Soviet justification for crackdowns against a civil society that has gone too far beyond Kremlin control.[133]

While it may be unfair to cast suspicion on possible true anticommunist reformers who are trying to change the system gradually from within and must therefore walk a precarious path in the shadow of a still-powerful Party apparatus and KGB, there has been a long enough history of tactical retreats, disingenuous propaganda, and strategic deception undertaken by the Kremlin and its “independent” agents to merit caution on all these matters.[134] So long as a given “reformer” is still a member of the CPSU or still serves, as Yakovlev does, as a primary adviser to the General Secretary of the CPSU – especially in a political context where other reformers have resigned from the Party without suffering Siberia in one form or another then the presumption that the Communist reformer in question is in fact an anticommunist is misplaced. It would be more prudent to assume that a Communist is still a Communist until proven otherwise.

With this in mind, it is anyone’s guess as to who is who in the current Soviet wilderness of mirrors. In the particular case of Soviet legal diplomacy, the record has been uneven.  In 1985, the Association of Soviet Lawyers and the American Bar Association (ABA) reached an agreement of “cooperation and mutual respect” which stated that both countries’ lawyers are “pledged to the rule of law.” This agreement met with tremendous controversy, both within and without the ABA, on grounds that the Soviet group is not a true counterpart, independent organization, but rather an integral part of the Party-state apparatus of repression, and therefore part of the entire Soviet system of de facto lawlessness.[135] To reach such an agreement with this group, much less to accord it “respect,” would be to bestow upon it moral equivalence with the American group. In addition, opponents of the agreement pointed out that the ASL had joined the Soviet Anti-Zionism Committee to co-sponsor a “White Book” of anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda.[136]

In the case of the various legal exchanges that have taken place over the past few years, Soviet participants of a different stripe have become involved. A parade of Soviet lawyers has come to America to study the American constitutional and judicial systems.  Many of these have come under the auspices of an American Bar Association-sponsored legal internship program. In contrast to so many of the normal exchange arrangements, and possibly having learned a lesson from its experience with the ASL, the ABA succeeded in devising its own selection criteria, conducting its own interviews and choosing Soviet participants without apparent Soviet government interference. As a result, most, if not all of the participating interns were genuinely reform-minded people who recognized that they might be running a risk if a new wave of repression overtakes their country.[137]

Other exchanges have taken place at very high levels, including justice ministers, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and others. One example was the visit to the United States of USSR Minister of Justice Veniamin Yakovlev, who came to study American federalism and declared that the Soviet concept of rule of law “is not so different” from the American one.[138] Another example was the visit to the USSR by U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. On this visit, Thornburgh noted that the presentations he heard, beginning with that of Justice Minister Yakovlev, were “as devoid of ideological posturing as they were of false optimism.”  Everywhere, he found great curiosity about the American experience as a possible model for Soviet reform. At every meeting he attended, his Soviet hosts spoke of the necessity of an independent judiciary as the prerequisite for a law-based state.[139]

From this report, it would seem that most, if not all the people the Attorney General met were real reformers seeking to replace “class-based” justice with a real rule of law. But then, he reports, he went to visit the KGB to explore the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of narcotics, terrorism and organized crime. And lo and behold, even KGB Chairman Kryuchkov was seized with curiosity about federalism, checks and balances and so forth.[140] Here, given the disingenuous role Kryuchkov has played in prettifying the KGB (see chapter on this below), it is natural to suspect that his curiosity is another propaganda facade, if not a disingenuous mockery of his distinguished visitor as well. But if feigned curiosity about American constitutionalism is a propaganda line, then one is prompted to wonder how many of the other reformers are presenting a similar facade and, telling Western audiences once again everything that they want to hear.

Legislative and Governmental Exchanges

Of all the various “cultural” exchange relationships that the United States and the USSR have cultivated over the years, among the most durable have been those undertaken by representatives of each country’s governments. For example, even during periods when most other exchange activities were suspended, “interparliamentary” exchanges have given U.S. congressmen one of the few opportunities to travel to the USSR. Even though these exchanges were among the most prominent examples of bestowing legitimacy and moral equivalence on a non­equivalent Soviet institution, they proved too useful to their U.S. participants to be discarded for such moral-political reasons.

During the Gorbachev era, governmental exchanges have expanded dramatically in tandem with those of the people-to­ people variety, and beyond those of a principally scientific and technological character. For example:

— In 1987, the Main Archives Administration of the USSR Council of Ministers signed an agreement of cooperation with the American council of Learned Societies to create a joint U.S.-Soviet commission which will regulate relations between the two countries’ archive systems. The agreement is designed to “improve mutual understanding,” and contribute to “ensuring progress in all spheres of the humanities.”[141]

— That same year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly sponsored a trade fair in Moscow with the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry. HUD participated in the venture despite the fact that several months before the fair, the State Department issued a report warning that the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry plays a major role in Soviet intelligence operations against the West. With one third of its staff KGB officers and headed by a longtime KGB general, Yevgeniy Pitovranov (who is also on the governing board of the U.S.-USSR Trade and Economic Council), the Chamber exploits trade fairs, among other operations, for economic and technology intelligence collection against the West.[142]

— In March 1989, the U.S. and USSR announced an agreement to exchange international affairs specialists and diplomats for the first time. The exchanges would be between a consortium of thirteen American universities and the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its training institutes. While Americans would be able to attend seminars conferences and lectures at the Ministry, Soviet diplomats will be able to study at American universities on a formal basis.

— Inter-parliamentary exchanges took on a new cast when a delegation from the Supreme Soviet’s Committee on Legislation visited Washington to learn about how Congress and the executive branch work. The visitors said that they hoped to use their knowledge of American democratic procedures to promote “democracy” in the USSR. Whether this delegation consisted of genuine promoters of Western style democracy or of communists using “democratic” phraseology was not immediately clear. Their stated position, however, was reformist in spirit: in support of Gorbachev and opposed to stances taken by large segments of the Party apparatus.[143]

— The extent to which the Soviets seem to have won the early trust of the Bush State Department is illustrated by a proposal the Department prepared for Secretary of State Baker to deliver at a meeting with Gorbachev in May 1989. This concerned proposing to the USSR that the two countries share intelligence data on terrorism and missile proliferation.[144]

— In February 1990, Secretary of State James Baker became the first U.S. Government official to testify before a committee of the Supreme Soviet. Notwithstanding the pointed and sometimes hostile questions he received from the members of the International Relations Committee, his very appearance there was an indication of the new character of U.S.-Soviet relations. He told the committee that he felt that he was appearing “before the Founding Fathers of a new Soviet Union.”[145]

— As a result of a summit meeting request by Gorbachev as to how the Executive Office of the President is run, President Bush assigned White House Chief of staff John Sununu with tutoring a Soviet delegation on the nuts and bolts of White House operations.  The Soviet delegation, headed by Mikhail Shkabardnya, received an in-depth tour of White House administrative operations and those of four cabinet departments. The study tour included an examination of the paper flow of policy documents, scheduling, staffing, mail, telephone operations, White House communications with other agencies, Presidential communications with cabinet members, legislative liaison, etc. The White House also agreed to take the project a step further by sending Mr. Sununu to Moscow to examine Gorbachev’s executive operations and to proffer more advice.[146]

— Soviet reformers have taken advantage of this climate of increased official exchanges to expand their own contacts with the West. For example, in early 1991, the reformist chairman of the Moscow City Soviet, Gavriil Popov, paid a visit to the United States to meet with mayors and various city officials, to discuss Soviet economic problems with U.S. officials, and to present the opinion of Soviet reformers about the situation in the USSR. On his trip, he explained to the U.S. Administration that a cutoff of loans to the USSR would play into the hands of the “conservative” Soviet forces and would deliver a blow to the democratic movement. However, he also warned that present economic relations and continued loans could also be used by the conservatives to strengthen their positions.[147]

While it can be argued that inter-governmental contacts and exchanges of this type are mostly of a diplomatic character, a case can be made that the nature of these contacts has expanded far beyond traditional diplomatic intercourse into a realm much closer to that of people-to-people and professional exchanges. For example, it is not usual diplomatic practice to send delegations to other countries to study executive administrative operations or parliamentary procedure. It is this new character that makes these contacts more “cultural” in nature than strictly diplomatic.  Except in the cases where Soviet reformers have sought to exploit the increased opening to the West as a vehicle to promote reform in the USSR, most Soviet participation in these contacts is done principally for perceptions management purposes of the cultural diplomacy variety.

 

 

[1] V.I. Lenin, “On Proletarian Culture” in Robert c. Tucker (ed.), The Lenin Anthology (New York: W.W. Norton, 1975) p. 675.

[2] Resolution of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party, “On the Policy of the Party in the Field of Literature,” July 1, 1925, translated in Edward J. Brown, The Proletarian Episode in Russian Literature, 1928-1932, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952), pp. 235-240.            2

[3] K. Prieditis, “Iskusstvo, khudozhnik, politika,” {Art, the Artist, Politics”) Sputnik No. 6 (1975), p. 114, quoted by Baruch Hazan, Soviet Impregnational Propaganda, (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1982), p. 19. The reader should be aware that this outstanding volume by Hazan is the indispensable introduction to the entire field of Soviet cultural diplomacy.

[4] Quoted by Soviet Deputy Minister of Culture, G. A. Ivanov, in Vitaly Syrokomsky (ed.), Cultural Exchange: 10 Years After Helsinki (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1985), p. 12.

[5] B.N. Ponomarev, “International Significance of the 25th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union,” World Marxist Review, May 1976, p. 12, quoted in Raymond s. Sleeper (ed.), A Lexicon of Marxist-Leninist Semantics, (Alexandria, Va.: Western Goals, 1983) p. 67.

[6] Ivanov in Cultural Exchange, p. 13.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Hazan, Soviet Impregnational Propaganda, p. 17.

[9] Ibid., pp. 17, 18.

[10] See U.S. Department of State, Active Measures: A Report on the Substance and Process of Anti-U.S. Disinformation and Propaganda Campaigns, August 1986, p. 10 ff.

[11] See the author’s “Themes of Soviet Strategic Deception and Disinformation” in Brian Dailey and Patrick Parker, Soviet Strategic Deception, (Lexington Mass. and Stanford, Ca.: Lexington Books and Hoover Institution Press, 1987).

[12] For an analysis of this tendency, see Adda B. Bozeman, “Non­ Western Orientations to Strategic Intelligence and Their Relevance for American National Interests,” Comparative Strategy, Vol. 10, 1991, pp. 53-72.

[13] For an analysis of moral equivalence thinking, see the author’s “What Ever Happened to the Evil Empire?,” Crisis, October 1988.

[14] See Adda Bozeman, “Non-Western Orientations”

[15] For examples of this kind of operation see John Barron, KGB: the Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents, (New York, Reader’s Digest Press, 1974)

[16] For examples of these kinds of manipulation of Western media representatives and scholars, see David Satter, “Moscow Feeds a Lap-Dog Foreign Press,” Wall Street Journal, October 22, 1985.

[17] For the use of this expression, the author owes a debt to Frank R. Barnett. See his Preface to Roy Godson, et al., Soviet Active Measures, People to People Contacts, & the Helsinki Process, (New York: Ramapo Press for the National Strategy Information Center, 1986) p. vii.

[18] President Reagan’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress, November 21, 1985.

[19] See the testimony of several senior diplomats and veteran exchange participants such as Walter Stoessel and Landrum Bolling in David D. Newsom (ed.) Private Diplomacy with the Soviet Union, (Lanham, MD: University Press of America and Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, 1987).

[20] For a brief review of the meaning and intent of these policies, see the author’s The Sources of Soviet Perestroika (Ashland, OH:·Ashbrook Center, Ashland University, 1990).

[21] U.S. Information Agency, Research Memorandum, Soviet Cultural and Informational Activities in Western Europe: Glasnost Expands in 1987, May 25, 1988, p. 3.

[22] Ibid., p. 5.

[23] See U.S.- Soviet Exchanges, a Conference Report of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1985.

[24] “Testing the Limits of Glasnost,” The American Foreign Policy Council Review, Fall 1989.

[25] “U.S., Soviets to Swap Professors, Students,” Washington Times, June 1, 1990. See also “Soviet Students Study the Art of the Deal, Avidly,” New York Times, November 7, 1990.

[26] See “U.S.-Russian Shoemaking Venture Set,” New York Times, August 21, 1990.

[27] “Soviet Woman Is First To Pursue U.S. Degree,” New York Times, September 4, 1989.

[28] “Humanus Project: Soviet Way to Open Society,11 and non the Humanus Project,” publicity materials of the Humanus Project, 1990.

[29] “A Professor Whose Father Helped Shape Soviet History,” New York Times, April 1, 1990.

[30] “Khrushchev’s Son to Teach at Harvard,” Washington Times, August 31, 1990.

[31] For a typical example of such a performance, see “Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan: Never Again?” 1990 Sea Power Forum: Briefing Paper (Alexandria, VA, Center for Naval Analyses, 1990).

[32] “Western Historians Join Russians to Dissect Past,” New York Times, April 7, 1990.

[33] See “Cold War Scholars Fault Stalin,” Washington Post, July 26, 1990, and “Pathbreaking Conference Brings Together U.S., Soviet Historians” United States Institute of Peace Journal, October 1990.

[34] “Developing Legislative Democracy,” Izvestiya, January 9, 1991, FBIS-SOV February 14, 1991, p. 20.

[35] U.S. Information Agency (hereafter USIA), u.s.-soviet Exchange Initiative Fact Sheet, April 1991, pp. 5-6.

[36] Ibid.

[37] See the author’s The Sources of Soviet Perestroika for a discussion of this issue.

[38] “Steel Wings of the Earth. Farnborough-90 Air Show Has Opened,” Pravda, September 6, 1990.

[39] See, for example, “Soviets Participate in International Air­ space Show,” TASS, May 15, 1990, in FBIS-SOV, May 15, 1990.

[40] See “Soviets’ Hot Jet Fires Up Paris Air Show,” Washington Times, June 16, 1989, and “Soviets Shine at Air Show,” Washington Times, June 19, 1989.

[41] “‘Guest’ Steals Away with Men’s Marathon,” Washington Post, July 22, 1990.

[42] “2 MiG Jets to Travel Over U.S.,” Washington Times, July 31, 1989.

[43] “Our Pilots in Beijing’s Skies,” Izvestiya, March 25, 1991.

[44] For a review of the ideological mission attached to art, see the chapter on painting in Hazan, soviet Impregnational Propaganda

[45] See, for example, “New Soviet Art: Exotic is the Word,” Christian Science Monitor, September 18, 1989.

[46] USIA, U.S.-Soviet Exchange Initiative Fact Sheet, p. 2.

[47] Ibid.

[48] “Soviet Hero of Abstract Art,” Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 1990.

[49] For an extraordinary and revealing account of Armand Hammer1s relations with the Soviet Union, see Joseph Finder, Red Carpet (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1983).

[50] See, for example, “And Women Gaze at Us from the Centuries,” one of many feature stories on art and architecture in just one issue of Soviet Woman (March 1988), the journal of the Soviet Women’s Committee published in 15 languages.

[51] “U.S.-Soviet Art Exchange Set,” Washington Post, November 11, 1989.

[52] “A Little Touch of Moscow in Seattle,” Christian Science Monitor, July 13, 1990.

[53] “Seattle Gives Cheers to the Arts of Russia in Goodwill Festival,” New York Times, June 9, 1990.

[54] “American Artist Edna Hibel Makes a Hit in Soviet Visit,” Christian Science Monitor, November 21, 1990.

[55] “Russians Struggle to Turn Art into Profits,” Washington Business Journal, March 25, 1991.

[56] For a typical display of Soviet fashion, see “Virtuosi of Fashion,” Soviet Woman, March 1988, p. 27 ff.

[57] “Moscow Beauty Pageant,” The World and I, August 1988, p. 74.

[58] “Organizers Outrage Soviet Beauty Queen,” Washington Times, August 28, 1989.

[59] “Soviet Bathing Beauties on Parade,” New York Times, February 6, 1990.

[60] “Opinion of a Military Observer; Whom Will ‘Desert Storm’ Sweep Away?” Selskaya zhizn, February 1, 1991, in FBIS-SOV, February 6, 1991, p. 35.

[61] “Miss KGB & Images of the Past,” Washington Post, October 31, 1990.

[62] “This Glasnost bares Soviet Charm,” Washington Times, January 12, 1990.

[63] Richard Grenier, “Getting ahead of Playboy,” Washington Times, March 13, 1990.

[64] “Made in USSR: The Reds’ Coats Are Coming!” Washington Post, March 26, 1990.

[65] “Parties Rise and Fall: Soviet Jeans Endure,” advertisement in New York Times, February 11, 1990.

[66] “A Versatile Soviet Courier’s Case” in US AIR gift magazine, 1990.

[67] See advertisements in Washington Times, November 30, 1990, CV magazine, 1990, and The Atlantic, January 1990. See also advertisement for hammer and sickle shorts offered by “Peace Frogs,” Washington city Paper, June 7-13, 1991.

[68] Reported by Ken Adelman, “Would You Have Guessed?” Washington Times, November 7, 1990.

[69] “Discovering Red-Hots,” Washington Times, March 15, 1990.

[70] Joyce Carol Oates, “Intellectual Seduction: Meeting with Gorbachev,” New York Times Magazine, January 3, 1988, pp. 16 ff.

[71] Ibid.

[72] For further discussion of these psychological dynamics, see the author’s “Themes of Soviet Strategic Deception and Disinformation” in Dailey and Parker (eds.), Soviet Strategic Deception.

[73] See The Handbook on Organizations Involved in Soviet-American Relations, (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Soviet-American Relations, 1986). An excellent series of updates of the various organizations involved in citizen exchange and peace activities with the USSR appears in the report, Surviving Together, issued periodically by the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the Institute for Soviet American Relations, both in Washington,

D.C. For an excellent review of many of the issues involved in citizen diplomacy with the USSR, see David D. Newsom (ed.) Private Diplomacy with the Soviet Union.

[74] USIA, U.S.-Soviet Exchange Initiative Fact Sheet, p. 3.

[75] Ibid.  See also “U.S.-Soviet Citizen Forum: Fewer Rifts Now,” New York Times, October 31, 1989, and “U.S.-Soviet citizens Diplomacy Conference Cited,” TASS, June 3, 1990, in FBIS-SOV, July 3, 1990.

[76] See Clive Rose, The Soviet Propaganda Network, (London: Pinter Publishers, in association with John Spiers, and New York, st. Martin’s Press, 1988), pp. 273-274.

[77] USIA, u.s.-soviet Exchange Initiative Fact Sheet, p. 3, and surviving Together, February 1986, p. 50, and Fall-Winter 1987, p. 45.

[78] “Alaska Seeks to Coordinate Plans for Soviet Exchanges,” New York Times, August, 30, 1989.

[79] “Alaska Warms to Task of Thawing ‘Ice Curtain’ Between U.S., Soviets,” Christian Science Monitor, April 6, 1990; “There’s No Place Like Nome for the Cold War Meltdown,” Washington Post, July

11 1990; and “Aeroflot Makes First Flight to Alaska,” Washington Times, May 20, 1991.

[80] Ibid.

[81] “Moscow Rotary Club Approved by Kremlin,” Washington Times, March 26, 1990.

[82] “Dog’s Life for Cats Under Perestroika,” Washington Times, May 10, 1989.

[83] Surviving Together, February 1986, p. 50.

[84] For a detailed and extensive analysis of this group, see U.S. Department of State, Moscow and the Peace Movement: The Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace, Foreign Affairs Note, May 1987, or U.S. Department of State, Soviet Influence Activities: A Report on Active Measures and Propaganda, 1986-87, August 1987, pp. 15-27.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Surviving Together, Fall-Winter 1987, p. 47

[87] “Soviet and American Travellers…” Los Angeles Times, August 3, 1986.

[88] U.S. Department of State, Soviet Influence Activities: A Report on Active Measures and Propaganda, 1986-87, August 1987, p.  80.

[89] The text of this appeal appears in ibid., p. 86.

[90] Ibid., p. 80.

[91] Surviving Together, Fall-Winter 1987, p. 46.

[92] Idem, Spring 1990, p. 75, 76.

[93] Rose, The Soviet Propaganda Network, p. 273. See also U.S. Department of State, Active Measures: A Report on the Substance and Process of Anti-U.S. Disinformation and Propaganda Campaigns, August 1986, pp. 28, 28, and p. 38.

[94] “Soviet Discrimination,” Washington Times, November 6, 1990.

[95] “Soviet Homosexuals Get Their own Pravda,” Washington Times, August 1, 1990.

[96] “Russians and Americans Bury an Era,” New York Times, October 17, 1990.

[97] “Soviets Find Friendship in a Historic Cow Town,” New York Times, October 31, 1989.

[98] Ibid., and “Soviets Triumph on Tour: How the West Was Won,” Washington Post, October 31, 1989.

[99] Surviving Together, February 1986, p. 29.

[100] Rose, The Soviet Propaganda Network, p. 276, and Martin Ebon, The Soviet Propaganda Machine, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987), pp. 205, 293.

[101] “Yeltsin, Soviet Opposition Figure, Is Due for U.S. Tour Today,” New York Times, September 9, 1989, and Surviving Together, Fall-Winter 1987, pp. 38, 57-58.

[102] Ibid., p. 87.

[103] Ibid., p. 17.

[104] Ibid., p. 86. For a report on other Peace Child exchanges, see the Fall-Winter 1987 issue, p. 55.  ·

[105] Ibid., p. 49.

[106] “Profit from International Lottery Will Go to Chernobyl· Children,” Pravda, January 19, 1991; “Moscow to Host International Dimension Forum,” TASS November 14, 1990, in FBIS­ SOV November 15, 1990; and “Officials Fears Noted,” report of an interview in Der Morgen, FBIS-SOV, April 29, 1991, p. 54. See also Boris Yeltsin’s accusations on the anniversary of the disaster that the authorities, “hiding behind the smoke screen of secrecy, not only failed to assist in taking the necessary measures, but in fact, blocked them.” “Yeltsin Addresses Supreme Soviet on Chernobyl,” Moscow Central Television, April 25, 1991, in FBIS-SOV, April 29, 1991, pp. 47, 48.

[107] U.S. Department of State, Soviet Influence Activities: A Report on Active Measures and Propaganda, 1987-1988, August 1989, p.39.

[108] Ibid.

[109] Surviving Together, Spring 1988, p. 67.

[110] See, for example, “United by Inglorious Wars,” Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 1989.

[111] Soviet Woman, March 1988, p. 20b.

[112] “5 Russians Skirmish With a U.S. Kitchen, And Everyone Wins,” New York Times, July 19, 1989.

[113] McDonald’s Fact Sheet, Moscow-McDonald’s, February 1991.

[114] McDonald’s Backgrounder, McDonald’s Community Commitment, February 1991, and McDonald’s President Breaks New Ground In Business and Community Service, February 1991.

[115] “After 2 Years, $6 million Soviet Arts Festival Takes Center Stage,” San Diego Union, October 22, 1989.

[116] “Both Dazzle, Drizzle Open Arts Festival,” San Diego Union, October 23, 1989.

[117] For a review of the various domestic and foreign policy purposes of glasnost’, see the author’s The Sources of Soviet Perestroika, pp. 21-30.

[118] See, for example, what may possibly be the first public criticism of the Gulag in Literaturnaya gazeta, April 20, 1987…….

[119] See the various recent annual editions of the U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Right Practices.

[120] See A.M. Rosenthal, “In Deep Russia, the Camp at the End of the Road,” New York Times, December 13, 1988, “Lessons of Perm,” New York Times, December 27, 1988, and “The Man at the Window,” New York Times, August 18, 1989.

[121] “Congressmen Allowed to Visit Soviet Prison,” Washington Times, August 9, 1989. See also “The Buddha’s Smile” in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle ……….. See also “Congressmen Interview Inmates at Soviet Camp,” Washington Post, August, 11, 1989.

[122] See, for example, “Gulag Still Open, Freed Inmate Says,” New York Times, April 29, 1991.

[123] See, for example, “Inside Stalin’s ‘Marble Gulag’,” Washington Post, October 1, 1989.

[124] “Missing Envoy’s Family To Meet with Soviets,” Washington Times, August 15, 1989.

[125] “Soviets Found Still Hospitalized for Political Views,” Washington Post, July 13, 1989. See also Report of the U.S. Delegation to Assess Recent Changes in Soviet Psychiatry, Report to the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, July 12, 1989.

[126] “Soviet Envoy Tells U.S. of Mental Hospital Reform,” New York Times, October 3, 1989.

[127] “Soviet Psychiatrists Back in World Body,” Washington Times, October 18, 1989, and “World Psychiatric Group Readmits Soviets,”

. Washington Post, October 19, 1989.

[128] See “Soviet Psychiatry Is Still Being Abused, Doctor Says,” The Independent, June 16, 1990, in FBIS-SOV July 9, 1990, p. 15; “Psychiatric Patients Used as ‘Slave Labor’,” Radio Liberty Daily Report, July 26, 1990, and Peter Reddaway, “Reform of Soviet Psychiatry: Is the Establishment Beginning to Panic?” Report on the USSR, November 2, 1990. See Soviet discussions of the issue in: “Repressive Psychiatry and the Law,” (an interview with the Director of the Serbskiy Institute) New Times, February 12-16, 1991 p. 32; B. Protchenko and A. Rudyakov, “A Painful Subject,” Kommunist, No. 3, 1989 and a follow-up by the same authors, “Psychiatry and Human Rights,” in Kommunist, No. 12, 1990. Another recent possible example of the use of psychiatry for political purposes may have been the admittance to a mental hospital of a woman arrested for violating the new law against “insulting” the USSR President.  See “Woman Charged With Slandering Gorbachev,” TASS, September 22, 1990 in FBIS-SOV, September 24, 1990, p. 68.

[129] See U.S. Department of State, Soviet International Fronts, August 1983.

[130] U.S. Department of State, Active Measures, August 1986, p. 19, and Rose, The Soviet Propaganda Network, pp. 92-99, 264-265.

[131] “Aide Sees Gorbachev Racing to Save Union,” New York Times, December 5, 1990.

[132] Report by Abel Aganbegyan to the session of the USSR supreme Soviet, Moscow Television Service, October 18, 1990, FBIS-SOV October 19, 1990, p. 33.

[133] “Aide Sees Gorbachev Racing”

[134] This issue, of course, is only part of the much larger issue of whether ostensibly non-communist actions taken by the Communist Party are designed to serve non-communist or communist purposes.  Does a New Economic Policy-style market-oriented reform represent a departure from communism or not? On all such questions, prudence requires that we accept Lenin’s explanations of these matters: that they represent retreats that must be taken because of an adverse correlation of forces, and that lost ground can be taken back when the “progressive” forces have regained their strength. See Lenin’s report on “Communism and the New Economic Policy,” to the Eleventh Party Congress, March-April 1922 in Robert C. Tucker (ed.), The Lenin Anthology, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1975) pp. 518 ff. See also the chapter on “Retreat” in Nathan Leites, The Operational Code of the Politburo, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951) pp. 82 ff. For an expansion on this argument with particular reference to economic policies, see Alain Besancon, “The Anatomy of a Specter,” Survey, Autumn 1980, pp. 143 ff. For a recent Soviet discussion of the politics of compromise and retreat, see Alexander Lebedev, The Problem of Compromise in Politics: as Seen by Lenin in the First Post-Revolutionary Years. 1918-1921, (Moscow: Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, 1989).

[135] For some flavor of this controversy, see the speech by Dr. Anatoly Koryagin to the ABA annual meeting in 1987, “ABA Is Dining with the Devil’,” in Wall Street Journal, August 31, 1987. See also Williams. Pearl, “Should We Reject the Soviet Bar?” New York Times, August 6, 1986; Morris B. Abram, “For Ties with Soviet Lawyers,” New York Times, August 26, 1986; and Alan Dershowitz, “Soviets Don’t Merit the ABA’s Respect,” Washington Times, July 17, 1985.

[136] “Lawyers Want ABA to Rescind Soviet Pact,” Washington Times, February 11, 1986.

[137] “From Russia, With Law,” Washington Post, October 11, 1989; “Soviets Get Baptism in U.S. Law,” Washington Times, February 5, 1990; and “Soviet Intern May Take Just Ideas Back Home,” Washington Times, January 18, 1990.

[138] “Soviet Justice Minister Studies American Federalism,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Daily Report, August 14, 1990, and “Thornburgh Playing Host to His Soviet Counterpart,” Washington Times, August 14, 1990.

[139] Dick Thornburgh, “Potomac Politics on Kapital Hill,” New York Times, October 7, 1989.

[140] Ibid.

[141] “United States – USSR: In the Interest-s of Mutual Understanding,”    Pravda, February 21, 1987, p. 5.

[142] “Pierce Opened Fair With Soviet KGB,” Washington Times, July 26, 1989. See also U.S. Department of State, Intelligence collection in the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry, January 1987.

[143] “3 Soviet Legislators Take Cue from U.S.,” Washington Times, September 1, 1989, and Mission to Congress, Soviet Style,” New York Times, August 25, 1989.

[144] “U.S. May Tell Soviets: Let’s Share Some Secrets,” New York Times, April 21, 1989.

[145] “Baker Braves the Gauntlet in the Moscow Parliament,” New York Times, February 11, 1990.

[146] “White House Tutors Kremlin on How a Presidency Works,” New York Times, May 16, 1990.

[147] “Popov Holds News Conference on U.S. Trip,” TASS February 13, 1991, in FBIS-SOV February 15, 1991, p. 77; and “Why G. Popov Went to America,” Interview with Gavriil Popov, Argumenty i fakty, No. 7, February 1991, p. 5.