MOSCOW, SEPT. 18 -- Exiled Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his first detailed political statement since the beginning of the Gorbachev era, called today for the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its replacement with a Great Russian state made up of the three Soviet Slavic republics.

Solzhenitsyn urged the return of private property and a native form of democracy based on locally elected councils in his proposed new state, which would retain the Russian republic, the Ukraine, Byelorussia and parts of Soviet Kazakhstan.

Solzhenitsyn's 16,000-word article, "How to Revitalize Russia," appeared today in the Communist Party youth newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda as a special supplement, marking the first time in nearly three decades that a new work by the Nobel Prize-winning writer has been permitted in an official Soviet publication. Solzhenitsyn was stripped of Soviet citizenship and exiled in 1974.

In recent months, the Soviet government has allowed publication of Solzhenitsyn's previous output and has offered to return his Soviet citizenship. But until now, Solzhenitsyn, who lives in Cavendish, Vt., has kept silent on contemporary politics, apparently preferring that his literary works have time to penetrate the readership here before he enters the political debate.

The article, which will reach 22 million subscribers to Komsomolskaya Pravda and 4 million more when it is republished Wednesday in the influential Literaturnaya Gazeta, is certain to be a central event in the cultural and political climate of the Soviet Union and may startle readers unfamiliar with Solzhenitsyn's political moralism.

Unlike westernizers ranging from President Mikhail Gorbachev to the late human-rights campaigner Andrei Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn is steeped in a tradition of Russian history and thinking and expresses doubt in the article that the Western parliamentary form of democracy is appropriate now for Russia. Instead, he argues that democracy must grow "from the bottom up," using the pre-revolutionary form of local governing bodies known as zemstvos.

Although he never mentions Gorbachev's name, Solzhenitsyn surveys the progress of Soviet reform since 1985 with profound scepticism.

"What has happened in five, almost six, years of the noisy perestroika {restructuring}? What have we used it for?" he writes. "We used it only for shuffling the Communist Party's Central Committee and for knocking together an ugly, artificial election system devised only to let the party hold onto its power. We also used these years for hasty and indecisive laws."

The article implicitly compares the Communist Party to prewar Germany's Nazi Party and declares that the leaders of the "Marxist-Leninist utopia" ought to be judged, just as the Nazis were at Nuremberg, and that the KGB secret police, with its "evil 70-year history," should be dismantled.

"And what of the glorious driving forces of glasnost {openness} and perestroika?" Solzhenitsyn writes, referring to Gorbachev and his generation of party leaders. "In their collection of these fashionable words, where is the word 'purification' or catharsis? All the dirty mouths that for decades served totalitarianism have rushed into the new glasnost. Out of every four mouthpieces of today's glasnost, three are former servants of Brezhnevism. Who among them has said at least one word of repentance instead of denouncing and damning the {Leonid Brezhnev} period?"

Although many of his observations about the ruin of the environment and the degradation of spiritual life in his homeland have appeared elsewhere, Solzhenitsyn has unique authority here as both a literary and cultural figure. A former political prisoner, he almost singlehandedly broke the taboo against prison camp literature with his novella "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" and his subsequent "literary investigation" of the camps -- the three-volume "Gulag Archipelago."

The Komsomolskaya Pravda article begins with a note of warning: "The bell has tolled for communism. But its concrete construction has not yet collapsed. It might happen that instead of liberation, we will find ourselves buried under its ruins."

Solzhenitsyn writes that the Baltic states, the five Central Asian republics and Moldavia should secede from the Soviet Union, leaving behind a Slavic nation made up of Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine, as well as some parts of Kazakhstan, a huge Central Asian expanse whose population is more than 50 percent Slavic. Although there is a strong independence movement in the Ukraine, Solzhenitsyn argues that the Slavs are united by blood and that over the years Ukrainians and Russians have become mixed through marriages and internal migration.

Like Gorbachev speaking to the Lithuanians, Solzhenitsyn writes that the process of secession needs to be slow: "It shouldn't resemble the way the Portuguese ran from Angola, leaving behind a mess and many years of civil war." The article disavows the need for an empire, either Soviet or Russian, and notes that Japan rid itself of its imperial ambitions and thrived. "We must choose," Solzhenitsyn writes, "between the empire that kills us and the spiritual and material salvation of our nation."

The article advocates the return of private property -- especially for farmers -- saying that the economic and spiritual regeneration of the Russian people must begin in the provinces. Here Solzhenitsyn's argument seems to reflect the policies of Pyotr Stolypin, a liberal czarist who instituted land reform in 1906 and was assassinated in 1911, and the philosophy of such Russian religious thinkers as Vladimir Solovyov and Nikolai Berdyayev.

Solzhenitsyn has been called anti-Western, although he has argued elsewhere that his chief concern is that Russia, after decades of deformation, should not try to ape Western institutions and culture. In today's article, he warns against an attempt to save the economy by "selling out" Russia's forests, land and mineral wealth to "foreign capitalists." He laments, too, that the young seem susceptible to the worst influences of Western mass culture.

"Abandoned by family and school, our youth is growing if not toward crime then toward a thoughtless, barbaric imitation of something luring them from abroad," he writes. "The historic Iron Curtain perfectly defended our country from all things good in the West -- from civil freedom, respect of personality, diversity of personal activity, overall well-being, charity movements. But that iron curtain was incomplete, letting in through a gap the manure of degraded pop, mass culture, vulgar fashions and manifestations of publicity. This rubbish was greedily soaked up by our abandoned youth.

"Objections to this process are considered in our country obscurantist and conservative. But it is reasonable to point out that voices in Israel also spoke of a similar phenomenon, saying: 'The Hebrew cultural revolution was carried out not for our country to capitulate before American cultural imperialism and its byproducts, this Western intellectual garbage.' " Solzhenitsyn does not cite any Israeli sources for the statement.

On government, Solzhenitsyn is also wary of Western intrusions, writing, "We now have the idea that we don't have to think things through but rather imitate the West. But in the West each country has its own traditions."

The Russian union "does need democracy and needs it badly," he writes. "But given the unpreparedness for complicated democratic life, it should be built little by little from the bottom up, patiently, not just being proclaimed by mass media and introduced from above in a torrent, all at once, in its entirety."

Citing the example of the ancient Greeks, Swiss localities and the town meetings of New England, Solzhenitsyn says that democracy in Russia would be best built through the establishment of locally elected governing bodies -- the zemstvos. Czar Alexander II's establishment of zemstvos and the liberation of serfs in the 1860s was known as the Great Reform and came to an end with the czar's assassination in 1881.

The local zemstvos would elect higher, regional bodies, and so on up to the national level, Solzhenitsyn says. In addition, he argues, the national legislature may want to add a third body "composed of an experienced and cultured minority." Such a body, he writes, would slow down the "free flow" of democracy and guard against the "unlimited power of the majority."

The article also proposes a popularly elected president and a system in which ordinary citizens can press for legislation through petition, but Solzhenitsyn warns at the same time of the limitations of the state's connection with the individual: "People cannot participate daily in the governing of the state. That is why in the government a certain portion of aristocratic or even monarchic element is inevitable."

In a preface to the article headlined "He Never Left Russia," Komsomolskaya Pravda's political commentator Alexander Afanasyev writes that the article went through no censorship process. "Probably some people will think {Solzhenitsyn's} thoughts are unjust or anachronistic or distant from real life," Afanasyev says. "I personally see it as a wise and reasoned article, a well thought-out life-program of a great Russian author."