Ican’t remember the last time I was in an airport waitingnfor luggage along with a flight from Managua. Welcomento Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow. The passport controlnsoldier was in a glass-enclosed booth with a large shoulderhighnshelf that hid his checklists. He could look at thencalibrations painted on his window to check my heightnagainst what was printed in the passport. A mirror behindnand above me gave the soldier an opportunity to inspect mynbackside and the height of my shoe heels. Customs wasnmuch easier. The official simply waved me through whennmy bags went through an x-ray machine. Still, an x-raynmachine after the plane ride is an unusual debarkationnprocedure.nThe purpose of our tour was to visit religious sitesnsignificant to the “millennium of Christianity.” Nineteeneighty-eightnwas one thousand years after Prince Vladimir ofnancient Kiev required his subjects to be baptized in thenDnieper River. Before the trip I had made up my mind thatnevery possible chance I would go off on my own to see morendirecdy the peoples of the Soviet Union. Part of mynplanning was limited by the fact that the Soviets did notnissue the visa until five days before the trip — standardnpractice. In addition, there was no information about whichnhotels we would be staying at in Moscow, Leningrad, andnKiev. This, too, is standard practice and has been so fornmany years now. Even after we arrived in the Soviet Union,nwe could not learn in advance of our arrival in a certain citynas to where we would stay. Glasnost has not really changednthe basics of travel to the Soviet Union.nWhatever the word glasnost means, it is not freedom ofnspeech or press. A more accurate definition is freedom toncriticize Brezhnev, Stalin, or any evil that can be blamed onnthem. I saw an excellent example of glasnost one nightnwhen, instead of going to an optional circus event innLeningrad, I went off on my own and happened upon anmovie playing on Nevsky Prospect called Assd.nIn one scene a government stooge watches a televisionnprogram in which former Soviet leader Brezhnev is getting anmedal. The rather youthful audience hooted, clapped, andncheered in mock appreciation of this overdecorated five-starnmarshall of the Soviet Union who received more medalsnthan could fit onto a full-length coat.nAssd also conveyed a veiled warning to other abusers ofngovernment power. A middle-aged security official, jealousnMichael Warder is executive vice president of ThenRockford Institute.n24/CHRONICLESnnnof his younger lover’s friendship with a rock singer, arrangesnfor the murder of the young man. The young woman, innturn, kills the official.nOn another evening, I declined the ballet and went tonanother movie. Mirror of Heroism, which I had seennadvertised extensively on billboards. This movie was a bitnmore difficult to follow, but it dealt with the era of Stalin andnthe subsequent problems of understanding between thengenerations. It mocked a Stalinist factory leader and anpoliceman, both of whom were caught up in their ownnself-importance’ and who lacked any capability to thinkncritically about their public duties. It also showed thensuffering of the people who labored to make their quotas innthe coal mines, and the “heroic” efforts to industrialize.nI was surprised at the freedom of expression in thesenmovies. Both seemed “”to be saying that there is a newngeneration and the old ways won’t wash. On the other hand,nit does get tedious to associate everything bad in the SovietnUnion with Brezhnev (dead 6 years) and Stalin (dead forn35). Brezhnev appointees, clinging to past policies tonmaintain their privileges, still abound, and undoubtedly theynand closet Stalinists are the real targets of these movies. Theneffort Gorbachev is making to purge these old appointees isnpart of his plan to consolidate his own power.nI had not expected to see party slogans on buildings in thenSoviet Union, since I had read that the signs had been takenndown as a matter of good taste. In Moscow I saw only a fewnsuch signs, but in Leningrad and Kiev party signs andnslogans were plentiful. “Long Live Leninism!,” “Glory tonthe Communist Party of the Soviet Union!,” the everpopularn”Workers of the World, Unite!,” and the like werenon top of many major buildings. Perhaps in Leningrad andnKiev the local party bosses feel that they have to try harder. Insaw no slogans on billboards that championed perestroika,nglasnost, or democraztia. One local said that the buildingnsigns conveyed the older slogans because it was rather costlynto change them, and that the newer slogans could be seen,nthough I never did.nThere are many things that Moscow, Leningrad, andnKiev have in common. Each of their respective metronsystems is named after Lenin, and each of these cities has ansupersaturation of pictures, statues, lapel pins, memorialnsquares and parks, museums, libraries, and books of Lenin.nIn fact, a good working definition of a Soviet kiosk is a placenthat sells Lenin’s works and other things, too. There is noncriticism of Lenin these days in the Soviet Union, and thenguard is ever-vigilant in front of his mummified remains inn