Several experts in the history and culture of the USSR pointed out two points about that event and the picture. First, the event was and has not been widely advertised within China. As of a few years ago a random check of a few dozen Chinese the above picture had never been seen before.

Second, that picture had a profound effect ... within the USSR. The idea, and clear evidence, that an individual, using just the force of morality and humanity alone, could stand up to the power of the state was perhaps the final straw that made the fall of the USSR inevitable. Once the word gets out that soldiers are people, that they will hesitate to kill unarmed civilians, that moral persuasion not only works but is something a person might get away with, the end is near for totalitarianism.

Another point that I thing need to be made is that people need to look at the story behind the attack on the Universalist Unitarian, UU, church. Faced with an armed attacker intent on murder the unarmed people rushed him and disarmed him.

Anyone who tells you you absolutely have to meet lethal force with lethal force has no idea what they are talking about. An unarmed man can stop a column of tanks. A small number of men can stop a gunman. But first you have to stop being afraid and stop thinking it is the weapon that makes a man powerful.