The Soviet Union's future

August 29, 1991|By Straits Times, Singapore

THE THREAT from hard-line communists may have died with the would-be coup, but not the threat of social unrest and mass upheaval, which is potentially far more dangerous.

An accelerated move toward a market economy will inevitably mean millions of people being thrown out of work, and even the employed will be unhappy as subsidies are withdrawn.

Soviet leaders -- those at the center as well as in the republics -- will need Western help to cushion the pain if the reform process is not to stall once again.

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