Does the Soviet Union use poison gas as a riot-control weapon against its own citizens? After 19 protesters in Soviet Georgia died in a clash with Red Army troops three weeks ago, rumors circulated that at least some of them had choked on toxic gases.

The regime itself is now confirming those rumors. The gases used can cause paralysis, delirium and heart failure.Moscow's new rulers have produced dramatic changes - but it hardly follows that they have become "just like us." The events in Georgia confirm that they have not.