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‘The Only Decision, We Have No Other Way’

It was a stormy session Monday at the Soviet Union’s supreme government body, the Congress of People’s Deputies: “Let’s speak frankly: Our union is not only on the brink of collapse, it is in a state of collapse. We’re in the state similar to the one in Yugoslavia. And I believe that this is the only decision, we have no other way and here we have made an essential step forward. . . .”

--Sergei S. Alexeyev, chairman of the Constitutional Compliance Committee of the Congress.

‘We Must Protect Him’

“On behalf of the Ukrainian delegation, I declare that by the majority vote, our delegation has supported the agenda of the Congress put forward by the president and republic leaders. The Ukrainian delegation supported on the whole the resolution of the president and the leaders of the republics. We have supported President Gorbachev and we must protect him against attack, and we should not allow his resignation here at the Congress.”

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--Yuri Shcherbak, Ukrainian legislator and Ukrainian minister of the environment.

‘Our Delegation Has Some Doubts’

“We think that we should take the resolution as a basis and discuss it at the Congress. We would like to put the question on recognizing the declaration of independence of Byelorussia on the agenda. Our delegation has some doubts on the issue of forming the new representative body.”

--Stanislav Shushkevich, vice president of Byelorussia.

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