The Russian military is falling apart. Suicide, corruption and low morale ravage the ranks, while soldiers go unpaid for months and some even starve to death. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, how the Red Army lost its might. Also, the two hundred year old saga of the little village of Koltsovo, and the story of Russia's most famous dissident, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Anatol Lieven is a correspondent for the Financial Times and author of "Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power." He tells Judith Strasser that the formerly mighty Red Army is now rife with demoralized, unpaid, and hungry soldiers under the command of corrupt officers. The danger to the rest of the world is that these people have access to the Soviet nuclear arsenal.SEGMENT 2:
D.M. Thomas is the author of "Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life." He tells Steve Paulson that while no writer has had a greater impact than the man who wrote "The Gulag Archipelago" and "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," Solzhenitsyn seems irrelevant in contemporary Russia.SEGMENT 3:
Svetlana Boym teaches Slavic and Comparative Literature at Harvard and is the author of "Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia." She tells Steve Paulson that there's an urban revival going on in Moscow and St. Petersberg that masks an identity crisis for Russia as a whole. Also, Serge Schmemann is The New York Times' Jerusalem bureau chief, formerly assigned to Moscow. His mother's family came from Koltsovo, a village ninety miles away. Schmemann tells Jim Fleming about his efforts to uncover his family's roots there. His book is "Echoes of a Native Land: Two Centuries of a Russian Village."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-02-22-A.
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