The head of the Soviet inspection team stationed in Utah said Monday that the threat of nuclear war has brought America and the Soviet Union together for the first time since the two superpowers united to help defeat Nazi Germany.
"Fascism united us and now the threat of nuclear holocaust has united us," said Slava Zhukov, deputy inspector and leader of the Soviet inspection team at Hercules.Zhukov and inspectors Valeri Kuzmim and Sergei Galushko appeared Monday at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics to discuss "Perestroika in Soviet Domestic and Foreign Policy."
Before a standing-room-only crowd, Zhukov said perestroika, which means "restructuring," and the new openness in Soviet society under the stewardship of Mikhail Gorbachev have had far-reaching effects.
He said, for example, that newspapers now publish articles about internal problems in the Soviet Union. He went so far as to say that the Soviet press sometimes provides more thorough coverage than foreign news agencies.
"Some American journalists complain now because they have too much work," Zhukov said.
He also commented on the current effort to revise Soviet history to bring it into accord with actual events.
"There were a lot of mistakes" made in the 71-year history of the Soviet Union, he said. "But in spite of this, everything should be shown as it is."
He said he has enjoyed his stay in Salt Lake City and said it should be educational to both countries to observe that Russians are not that different from Americans.
In response to a question concerning chemical weapons stored at Dugway Proving Grounds, the inspectors declined to comment, saying the treaty prohibits them from commenting on questions of American policy.
However, Galushko added, "Our scientists are trying to prevent usage and even production of biological and chemical weapons."