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News from Moscow

wang@pennmess.physics.upenn.edu ( Huangxin Wang)
(smirk, original)

[VPI, 12/9]  "May you live in an interesting time!" said a Chinese curse.
Obviously we are in one of such.

Yesterday, there was a show-down between Mr Gorbachev and Mr Boris N.
Yeltsin. Mr Yeltsin and another two leaders from the Ukraine and
Byelorussia want to abandon the Soviet Union, and move the capital from
Moscow to Minsk in Byelorussia.

"The reason that we move the capital away from Moscow, is, apparently,
it is running out of food there." quote a spokesman of Mr Yeltsin.
Obviously, the democratic government of Russia has put scientific new
thinking into action, for example, the migration habit of variety of
animals.

But Mr Gorbachev disagreed. "Isn't that so obvious that you try to put
me out of job?"  (Note:  this is a condensation from his original
speech, which, if translated directly, is much too long to fit into a
news report.)

Some critics say, though, even they sound so vastly different with each
other, actually their ideas are very similar:  Mr Yeltsin wants
a commonwealth made up the original republics, while Mr Gorbachev wants
a confederation, made up also of the original republics.

"After all, it is just the difference of the names, you really cannot
tell the difference between their contents --- because both of them are
empty." commented a Soviet specialist (will be dubbed as "commonwealth
specialist" or "confederation specialist"), "the real problem here is:
who said that name first, then who would get the credit."

One of Gorbachev's close associates said in private: "Gorbachev is very
unhappy after the meeting [with Yeltsin], Boris is very inconsiderate ---
he already has the job as the Russian president, he does not need to
propose a new idea to get a job.  On the other hand, Mr Gorbachev is on
the verge of unemployment, so it's neccesary for him to propose a new
idea to create a new job."

However, a Florida Realtor agent said, "Hours after the [Gorbachev -
Yeltsin] meeting, Gorby called us up inquiring about the mortgage and
interest rates at Palm Beach."  This is an encouraging sign that after
several years of democratic reform and opening up, Mr Gorbachev is
getting familar with the Western economics.  "He seems to be puzzled
when we told him that it is a good time to buy a house because the US
economy is in recession right now.  But he became happy when we told
him that all that means is:  you can get a cheap house."

The White House spokesman said at the news conference that  "Mr
Gorbachev and President Bush is discussing the possibility of extending
the unemployment benefit to certain Russian citizens, for example,
Soviet President." Actually Mr Gorbachev is very familiar with American
politics,  "Mr Gorbachev suggests to Mr Bush that, 'if we want to do it,
do it RIGHT NOW, because your Congress is in recess'."

There are some worrying signs, though. There is talking in the town of
Moscow that there will be another coup, because Mr Gorbachev is quoted
as saying: "The act [of Mr Yeltsin and other two leaders of the
republics] is unconstitutional."   It is a very similar situation in the
August Coup, when Mr Gorbachev was oustered while in vacation, and Mr
Yeltsin declared that it "was unconstitutional to do that".

However, there is some unsolved technical details about this new coup,
for example, where should it take place, Moscow or Minsk?  Are there
enough gas in the army to drive the tanks?  etc.

[VPI:  Very Possible Information]

---------

Huangxin Wang 王璜鑫, University of Pennsylvania


(From the "Rest" of RHF)


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