Soviets Celebrate May Day, No Mention of Nuclear Accident With AM-May Day Rdp, Bjt
MOSCOW (AP) _ The Soviet Union celebrated May Day with parades and pageantry Thursday and publicly ignored the nuclear disaster in the Ukraine that spread radiation over large areas of the country.
But in the Red Square parade in the Soviet capital, there were no posters saluting the nuclear energy industry. It appeared that all references to nuclear power were removed from the two-hour parade that features thousands of marchers carrying banners and posters.
A Soviet press report on the May Day parade in Kiev, only 80 miles from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, said the Ukranian capital staged a colorful ceremoney. There was no mention of the nuclear accident.
The Moscow parade had about a dozen posters carried by workers that criticized the United States for attacks on Libya and for not agreeing with a Soviet proposal to halt nuclear tests.
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and other members of the Communist Party Politburo viewed the parade from atop the Lenin mausoleum, occasionally waving at the passing men, women and children passing through Red Square. Gorbachev’s family stood on a viewing stand with other invited spectators.
In past May Day parades, the placards and floats celebrating Soviet labor achievements have included specific references to energy workers, including nuclear power workers.
The party’s Central Committee every year publishes a list of about 100 official slogans weeks in advance of May Day. The list this year was published on April 13, before the Chernobyl accident, and included calls to meet energy plans.
In Thursday’s parade, there were two posters promoting energy conservation, but there were no specific references to nuclear energy.
Parades were held in other cities across the country in what is one of the major holidays in the Soviet Union.
The parade was held under sunny skies and kicked off a four-day holiday weekend.
Gorbachev’s wife, Raisa, spoke briefly with several Western reporters allowed to approach where she stood with her daughter and granddaughter. ″It’s a wonderful holiday,″ she told the reporters.
Mrs. Gorbachev was not asked about the Chernobyl accident.
About a dozen placards were aimed at the United States. One depicted President Reagan, atop the White House, beating a drum with the slogan, ″We are fighting terrorism″ while American rockets were hitting Libya.
Another poster said, ″Shame on American imperialism.″ It showed an Uncle Sam with its pockets bulging with missiles and standing on Libya.