Soviet high school students will be given supplements to their history books by the start of next year to fill in "blank spots" in their knowledge of the country's past, a senior education official said on Saturday.

Vladimir Shadrikov, deputy chief of the State Committee for People's Education, said the supplements would include chapters on a power struggle preceding the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the repressions of the Stalin era and ousted leader Nikita Khrush-chev."Much attention will be devoted to individual revolutionaries, their differing views on the revolution and the post-revolutionary development of Russia," he told the government newspaper Izvestia.

He said students would learn about the parties that competed with Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks, about the people who fled the country during the post-revolution civil war and about Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP), with which the reforms of Kremlin leader Mikhail Gorbachev are now compared.

"And of course, serious attention will be paid to the formation of the administration-by-command system, the repressive apparatus which was created and the role in this of Stalin," Shadrikov said.

The supplements are being prepared for 15-year-olds.

For older students, new textbooks will include chapters on Khrushchev's "merits and mistakes" and on stagnation under former leader Leonid Brezhnev.

The current rewriting of history follows the sudden cancellation of history examinations in Soviet schools last spring.

Shadrikov suggested there were some problems in completing final versions of new books, presumably because of the speed at which the official re-evaluation of history is now proceeding.

He said the initiative had sprung from Gorbachev's speech on the revolution's 70th anniversary last November.