25 MARCH 1995, Page 26

Quirky prisms

Sir: Mr Gott's 'individual prism' is quirky indeed, to say the very least (Letters, 11 March). Take, for example, 'political change . . . brought about by Presidents Andropov and Gorbachev'. Here are some of the changes brought about by Andropov: police stopping able-bodied people in the street, in shops etc. during the daytime, checking why they were not at work; an addition to the Penal Code which enabled prison-camp warders to prolong the terms of prisoners who, in their view, had misbe- haved; arbitrary demotion of employees, plus cutting their pay for up to three months, during which time the employee had no right to leave his or her job.

The first two of these 'changes' had never been introduced even by Stalin. The third one was a revival of Stalin's infamous decree of 26 June 1940. Apart from his unilateral disruption of the disarmament talks in Gene- va and sending more troops to Afghanistan, no other important changes were brought about by Andropov during his draconian and, luckily, brief — period of rule. Which of the above so attracted Mr Gott?

Most of Mr Gott's letter is on the same level, The KGB, according to him, 'was the principal organisation in the Soviet Union pushing for change'. Yes, in August 1991, the putsch, 'pushing for change' back to the good old days was indeed hatched inside the KGB and headed by its boss, Kryuchkov. There has been absolutely no 'pushing' in the oppo- site direction at any time.

However, there was a lot of KGB disin- formation about, like the portrayal of Rea- gan as a warmonger and Andropov as a `closet liberal'. In his letter, Mr Gott is still spreading these tired old KGB lies.

Isn't it time to stop, if only because no more 'red gold' will be forthcoming in the near future?

Leonid Vladimirov

25 Wesley Square, London W11