Scores of angry smokers blocked a street next to Red Square for several hours today as public outrage over a summer-long cigarette shortage struck at the heart of Soviet authority.
The protest in a driving rain in Revolution Square ended when a truck delivered a dozen cases of cigarettes to a nearby tobacco kiosk. A line of more than 230 people formed immediately.
The incident was the latest rebellion by smokers who have staged strikes and other demonstrations over an acute cigarette shortage that has lasted all summer. On Monday, 200 people blocked traffic in Leningrad.