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Looking Ahead: Science Under Siege

When security outfits in three former Soviet countries stepped up their activities in 1999, scientists paid the price. The Cold War games kicked into high gear last July, when Russian ecologist Vladimir Soyfer was accused of mishandling classified documents on nuclear contamination in the Far East. The Ukrainian KGB charged marine biologist Sergey Piontkovski with diverting Western grant money to foreign accounts. Then authoritarian Belarus got in on the act, reportedly imprisoning a researcher who studies lands blighted by Chernobyl. No matter the outcome of these cases, there's no sign that the attack dogs will be under tighter leash in 2000.