AP NEWS
Related topics

Citizens Wait for News Outside Kremlin With AM-Soviet-Party Bjt

February 7, 1990

MOSCOW (AP) _ Clusters of people stood outside the Kremlin in the cold Wednesday, some from far corners of this vast and diverse land, wondering what was being decided inside and hoping it would improve their lot.

″We hope there will be changes, but the leaders all seem lost and now they don’t know how to find their way,″ said Georgy Bogdanov, a lathe operator from Magadan province, 7,500 miles away in the Soviet Far East.

The groups of citizens, and the score foreign journalists waiting with them, shouted questions at all who entered Red Square through the Spassky Gate next to St. Basil’s Cathedral.

″Are you from the plenum?″ the crowd would yell. Most were Kremlin office workers who probably knew no more than their questioners about how and what President Mikhail S. Gorabachev and the Central Committee were doing.

″I especially came here to see what was going on,″ said Igor Posnyok, a medical student from Vitebsk in Byelorussia, 250 miles west of Moscow. ″I heard about the big democracy demonstrations and wanted to find out for myself what is happening because I couldn’t believe it,″

On Sunday, about 100,000 people marched 60 abreast to the Kremlin to demand that the Communist Party give up its power monopoly and accept other radical reforms.

Early in the afternoon, participants in the meeting came out with the news that the Central Committee had approved Gorbachev’s proposal to end the guarantee of Communist power and introduce a multiparty system.

″We must have competition of parties so a person can decide which one to vote for,″ said Dima Sukhanov, 17, of Moscow.

Bogdanov, from the Far East, wondered what it all was worth. ″Things are getting worse,″ he said. ″Five years of perestroika and what of it?″

Oleg Trifolov, 41, from the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea, spoke in the same vein: ″We the simple people don’t see perestroika, only chaos and disintegration.″

AP RADIO
Update hourly