In the Russian language the word Glasnost (/ˈɡlæznɒst/; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.[1]

In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.

Literal meaningpublicity

Historical usage

"For centuries", human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva has explained, the word glasnost has been in the Russian language: "It was in the dictionaries and lawbooks as long as there had been dictionaries and lawbooks. It was an ordinary, hardworking, non-descript word that was used to refer to a process, any process of justice or governance, being conducted in the open."[2] In the mid-1960s, however, as Alexeyeva recounts, it acquired a new and topical importance.

Glasnost in the USSR

Glasnost and the dissidents

On 5 December 1965, a key event in the emergence of the Soviet civil rights movement, often known as the Glasnost rally, took place in Moscow when protesters on Pushkin Square led by Alexander Yesenin-Volpin demanded access to the closed trial of Yuly Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky. They specifically asked for "glasnost", i.e. the admission of the public, independent observers and foreign journalists, to the trial, something that was required in the newly issued, but not widely available, Code of Criminal Procedure. With a few specified exceptions, Article 111 of the Code stated that judicial hearings in the USSR should be held in public.

Such protests against closed trials continued throughout the post-Stalin era. Andrei Sakharov, famously, did not travel to Oslo to receive his Nobel Peace Prize because he was standing outside a court building in Vilnius (Lithuania), demanding access to the 1976 trial of Sergei Kovalev, an editor of the Chronicle of Current Events and prominent rights activist.[3]

Glasnost and Gorbachev

In 1986, aware of the term's historical and more recent resonance, Mikhail Gorbachev and his advisers adopted "glasnost" as a political slogan, together with the obscure "perestroika".

Glasnost was taken to mean increased openness and transparency in government institutions and activities in the Soviet Union (USSR).[4] Glasnost apparently reflected a commitment to getting Soviet citizens to discuss publicly the problems of their system and seek solutions.[5] Gorbachev encouraged popular scrutiny and criticism of leaders, as well as a certain level of exposure by the mass media.[6] Some critics, especially among legal reformers and dissidents, regarded the Soviet authorities' new slogans as vague and limited alternatives to more basic liberties.

Alexei Simonov, president of the Glasnost Defence Foundation, would define the term as follows: "Glasnost is a tortoise crawling towards Freedom of Speech".[7]

Various meanings of Gorbachev's "glasnost"

Between 1986 and 1991, during an era of reforms in the USSR, glasnost was frequently linked with other generalised concepts such as perestroika (literally: restructuring or regrouping) and demokratizatsiya (democratisation). Gorbachev often appealed to glasnost when promoting policies aimed at reducing corruption at the top of the Communist Party and the Soviet government, and moderating the abuse of administrative power in the Central Committee.

The ambiguity of "glasnost" defines the distinctive five-year period (1986–1991) at the end of the USSR's existence. There was decreasing pre-publication and pre-broadcast censorship and greater freedom of information.

The "Era of Glasnost" saw greater contact between Soviet citizens and the Western world, particularly the United States: restrictions on travel were loosened for many, allowing increased business and cultural interchange[8].

International Relations under Glasnost

Gorbachev's interpretation of "glasnost" can best be summarized, translated, and explained in English as "openness". While associated with freedom of speech, the main goal of this policy was to make the country's management transparent, and circumvent the narrow circle of bureaucrats who previously exercised complete control of the economy.

Soviet history under Stalin was re-examined; censored literature in the libraries was made more widely available;[9][10] and there was a greater freedom of speech for citizens and openness in the media.

Propaganda about the supposedly higher quality of consumer goods and quality of life in the United States and Western Europe began to be transmitted to the Soviet population,[11] along with western popular culture.[12]

Glasnost in Russia since 1991

The outright prohibition of censorship was enshrined in Article 29 of the new 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation.[13] This did not end attempts by officials to restrict access to information in post-Soviet Russia or pressure by the authorities on media outlets not to publicise or discuss certain events or subjects. Monitoring of the infringement of media rights in the years from 2004 to 2013 would find that instances of censorship were the most commonly reported type of violation.[14]

There were also periodic concerns about the extent of glasnost in court proceedings, as restrictions were placed on access to certain cases for the media and for the public.

See also


  1. ^ Словарь Академии Российской. Часть II (in Russian). СПб.: Императорская Академия Наук. 1790. p. 72.
  2. ^ Alexeyeva, Lyudmila and Paul Goldberg The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era, Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990, pp. 108-109.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Milestones in Glasnost and Perestroyka: Politics and People. Brookings Institution Press. 1991. ISBN 0-8157-3623-1.
  5. ^ H., Hunt, Michael. The world transformed : 1945 to the present. p. 315. ISBN 9780199371020. OCLC 907585907.
  6. ^ H., Hunt, Michael. The world transformed : 1945 to the present. p. 316. ISBN 9780199371020. OCLC 907585907.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "International Tourism In The Soviet Union InThe Era Of Glasnost And Perestroyka". doi:10.1177/004728759102900401.
  9. ^ Glasnost im sowjetischen Bibliothekswesen (by Peter Bruhn)
  10. ^ А.П. Шикман: Совершенно несекретно in: Советская библиография, 1988,6 (231), P.3-12
  11. ^ Shane, Scott (1994). "Letting Go of the Leninist Faith". Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. pp. 212 to 244. ISBN 1-56663-048-7. All this degradation and hypocrisy is laid not just at the feet of Stalin but of Lenin and the Revolution that made his rule possible.
  12. ^ Shane, Scott (1994). "A Normal Country: The Pop Culture Explosion". Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. pp. 182 to 211. ISBN 1-56663-048-7. forces had taken over publishing...
  13. ^ Constitution of the Russian Federation, 1993, Article 29, point 5
  14. ^ Russia - Conflicts in the Media since 2004, a database. Censorship.


  • Cohen, Stephen F.; Katrina Vanden Heuvel (1989). Voices of Glasnost: Interviews With Gorbachev's Reformers. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-30735-2.
  • Gibbs, Joseph (1999). Gorbachev's Glasnost: The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0-89096-892-6.
  • Horvath, Robert (2005). The Legacy of Soviet Dissent: Dissidents, democratisation and radical nationalism in Russia. London & New York: Routledge Curzon. ISBN 0-415-33320-2.
1989 USC Trojans football team

The 1989 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California during the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. The season was intended to start historic fashion, with USC set to play Illinois in Moscow in what was dubbed the Glasnost Bowl. However, the plan to play the game at Dynamo Stadium fell through, and the game was rescheduled at Memorial Coliseum. The Trojans lost the game as the Illini scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

USC won their third consecutive conference championship and gained their 600th program win in a victory against Oregon State. They played third-ranked Michigan in the Rose Bowl and won giving Larry Smith his only bowl victory as head coach.

Alexander Ogorodnikov

Alexander Ioilyevich Ogorodnikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Иои́льевич Огоро́дников, born 26 May 1950, Chistopol, Tatar ASSR) is a former chairman of the Russian Orthodox Argentov Seminar, peace activist, political prisoner and founder of several Russian humanitarian organizations.

Alexander Ogrodnikov lacks widespread name recognition outside the republics of the former Soviet Union. He was jailed during one of the Soviet Union’s most aggressive crackdowns on religious activity since the Stalinist era. The repressive policies of Stalin had been lightened by Khrushchev, but during the 1970s the communist government reinforced its policy of using the state to rid society of religious influence.His father was a member of the Communist Party, while his grandmother had him secretly baptized. Alexander was singled out because his convictions defied Soviet “scientific” doctrine on the eradication of religious belief: anyone educated in the Soviet schools or in communism but remaining religious was deemed mentally ill, and Alexander converted after receiving his communist education in Soviet schools.

In 1974, as a Russian Orthodox Neophyte, Alexander founded a philosophical society with a religious basis. Alexander had been a graduate student at the University of the Urals in Sverdlovsk, and was expelled for attempting to make a film about religious life. In 1976, at the age of 25, Alexander was jailed in a psikhushka, an institution that in the West would be jokingly referred to as a hospital “for the criminally insane,” and he received neuroleptics. The legal basis for Alexander’s confinement was that his religious conviction was a mental disorder, due to its beginning and persistence coming after his education. Public protest forced the Soviet authorities to release him.Alexander was again jailed from 1978 until 1987, when he was released by Gorbachev under the Glasnost. Shortly after the fall of communism Alexander returned to Moscow in 1995 and set up the Christian Democratic Union of Russia and the Christian Mercy Society. In 1995 Alexander started what was among other things a drug treatment facility, the Island of Hope.In 1999 Alexander was interviewed following a Russian Orthodox Liturgy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, describing in detail life in a Soviet Gulag, specifically Perm 36, near the Siberian border where he had been jailed.

Alexander Yakovlev (Russian politician)

Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev (Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Я́ковлев; 2 December 1923 – 18 October 2005) was a Soviet politician and historian. During the 1980s he was a member of the Politburo and Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He was called the "godfather of glasnost" as he is considered to be the intellectual force behind Mikhail Gorbachev's reform program of glasnost and perestroika.

Yakovlev was the first Soviet politician to acknowledge the existence of the secret protocols of the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact with Nazi Germany.

Demokratizatsiya (Soviet Union)

Demokratizatsiya (Russian: Демократизация, IPA: [dʲɪməkrətʲɪˈzatsɨjə], democratization) was a slogan introduced by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in January 1987 calling for the infusion of "democratic" elements into the Soviet Union's single-party government. Gorbachev's Demokratizatsiya meant the introduction of multi-candidate—though not multiparty—elections for local Communist Party (CPSU) officials and Soviets. In this way, he hoped to rejuvenate the party with progressive personnel who would carry out his institutional and policy reforms. The CPSU would retain sole custody of the ballot box. The slogan of Demokratizatsiya was part of Gorbachev's set of reform programs, including glasnost (increasing public discussion of issues and accessibility of information to the public), officially announced in mid-1986, and uskoreniye, a "speed-up" of economic development. Perestroika (political and economic restructuring), another slogan that became a full-scale campaign in 1987, embraced them all.

By the time he introduced the slogan of Demokratizatsiya, Gorbachev had concluded that implementing his reforms outlined at the Twenty-Seventh Party Congress in February 1986 required more than discrediting the "Old Guard". He changed his strategy from trying to work through the CPSU as it existed and instead embraced a degree of political liberalization. In January 1987, he appealed over the heads of the party to the people and called for democratization.

By the time of the Twenty-Eighth Party Congress in July 1990, it was clear that Gorbachev's reforms came with sweeping, unintended consequences, as nationalities of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union pulled harder than ever to break away from the union and ultimately dismantle the Communist Party.

Feminism in Russia

Feminism in Russia originated in the 18th century, influenced by the Western European Enlightenment and mostly confined to the aristocracy. Throughout the 19th century, the idea of feminism remained closely tied to revolutionary politics and to social reform. In the 20th century Russian feminists, inspired by socialist doctrine, shifted their focus from philanthropic works to organizing among peasants and factory workers. After the February Revolution of 1917, feminist lobbying gained suffrage and nominal equality for women in education and the workplace; however, in the 1960s and 1970s, women continued to experience discrimination in certain career-paths (including politics) as well as income inequality and a greater burden of household work. In spite of this, the concern with feminism waned during this period.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, feminist circles arose among the intelligentsia, though the term continues to carry negative connotations among contemporary Russians. In the 21st century some Russian feminists, such as the punk-rock band Pussy Riot, have again aligned themselves with revolutionary anti-government movements, as in the 2012 demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin, which led to a lawyer representing the Russian Orthodox Church calling feminism a "mortal sin".

Glasnost (album)

Glasnost is the second full-length album by Nottingham alternative metal band illuminatus. The album was released through Headroom Records on February 7, 2011. All songs were written by illuminatus, with all lyrics by Julio Taylor.

Glasnost Bowl

The Glasnost Bowl was a planned attempt to stage an American college football game in Moscow, USSR at the beginning of the 1989 season. The game was named after the policy of glasnost ("openness") introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. Scheduled for the Dynamo Stadium, the game was similar to the Mirage Bowl, a college football game being played annually in Tokyo, Japan at the time, with plans to have it be an annual contest with different participants each year.Organized by Raycom Sports, the game was scheduled between the University of Southern California Trojans and the University of Illinois Fighting Illini to open their regular seasons. Arrangements were made for a network telecast back to the United States, and airplanes were chartered for fans to fly to the Soviet Union. However, due to complications, the game was rescheduled for Los Angeles, California as a USC home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Glasnost Defense Foundation

Glasnost Defense Foundation is a non-profit organization with the stated goals of the defense of journalists, journalism, and freedom of expression in Russia. Its president is Alexei Simonov, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights.Glasnost Defense Foundation (GDF) was organized on June 6, 1991 by Yegor Yakovlev, Vladimir Molchanov, Igor Golembiovsky, Mark Rozovsky, Elem Klimov, Aleksei German and other prominent Russian filmmakers and journalists. It provides legal help to journalists in conflict situations, supports the families of dead journalists and records individual cases of journalist's rights violations in Russia in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International.

Glasnost Meeting

The Glasnost Meeting (glasnost rally, "meeting of openness", Russian: Ми́тинг гла́сности) was the first spontaneous public political demonstration in the Soviet Union after the Second World War. It took place in Moscow on 5 December 1965 as a response to the trial of writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel. The demonstration is considered to mark the beginning of a movement for civil rights in the Soviet Union.

Glasnost The Game

Glasnost The Game is a strategic board game, produced by the Cypriot company YL Games. It was invented in 1989 by neuroscientist Yiannis Laouris, with help and inspiration from his daughter Romina, and his friend George Vakanas in Tucson, Arizona. Glasnost The Game is a turn-based game for ideally four players. It is played on a board depicting a partly modified political map of the Earth, divided into territories, which are grouped into seven continents. The continents are surrounded by a path along which the token-ships of the players move. The Players move their tokens with the classical throw of dice. Players attempt to colonize bordering territories from other players. Once you own a territory, you may construct industries. In every round, your industries produce weapons for new armies, which eventually facilitate a player’s ability to make war and conquer new territories (again with the throw of dice). At any time, you may unilaterally disarm any country that belongs to you. The winner is the player who has the most points when the whole world is disarmed.

Illuminatus (band)

Illuminatus (commonly typeset as illuminatus) are an alternative metal band from Nottingham.

Moscow Ballet (United States)

Moscow Ballet has toured the United States and Canada during the holiday season since 1993 and is exclusively represented by Talmi Entertainment Inc for these tours. There are 70 to 80 Russian-trained classical dancers on the annual N.A. tour who fly in from the former republic of Russia. Stanislav Vlasov, a former principal artist of the Bolshoi Ballet, was the first artistic director on the North American tour in 1993. Vlasov's debut in the United States was at Carnegie Hall in 1957.


Perestroika (; Russian: Перестро́йка, IPA: [pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə] (listen)) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s and 1990s and is widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.

Perestroika is sometimes argued to be a significant cause of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War.

Pushkinskaya Square

Pushkinskaya Square or Pushkin Square (Russian: Пу́шкинская пло́щадь) in the Tverskoy District of central Moscow. It was historically known as Strastnaya Square, and renamed for Alexander Pushkin in 1937.

It is located at the junction of the Boulevard Ring (Tverskoy Boulevard to the southwest and Strastnoy Boulevard to the northeast) and Tverskaya Street, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) northwest of the Kremlin. It is not only one of the busiest city squares in Moscow, but also one of the busiest in the world.

The former Strastnaya Square name originates from the Passion Monastery (Russian: Страстной монастырь, Strastnoy Monastery), which was demolished in the 1930s.

At the center of the square is a famous statue of Pushkin, funded by public subscription and unveiled by Ivan Turgenev and Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1880. In 1950, Joseph Stalin had the statue moved to the other side of the Tverskaya Street, where the Monastery of Christ's Passions had formerly stood. In 5 December 1965, Glasnost Meeting, the first spontaneous public political demonstration in the Soviet Union after the Second World War, happened here.

Sergei Grigoryants

Sergei Ivanovich Grigoryants (Russian: Серге́й Ива́нович Григорья́нц, Ukrainian: Сергі́й Іва́нович Григорья́нц, born 12 May 1941, Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union) is a Soviet dissident and former political prisoner, journalist, literary critic, chairman of the Glasnost Defense Foundation. He was imprisoned for 10 years in Chistopol jail as a political prisoner for anti-Soviet activities, from 1975 to 1980 and then four more years starting in 1983 on similar charges.

Soviet of the Union

The Soviet of the Union (Russian: Сове́т Сою́за, Sovet Soyuza) was the lower chamber of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot in accordance with the principles of Soviet democracy, and with the rule that there be one deputy for every 300,000 people. Until Glasnost and the 1989 elections however, only candidates approved by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were permitted to participate in the elections. As opposed to the upper chamber, the Soviet of Nationalities, the Soviet of the Union represented the interests of all of the people of the Soviet Union no matter what their nationality was.

The Soviet of the Union had the same rights and competence as the Soviet of Nationalities, including the right for legislative initiative. In practice, until 1989, it did little more than approve decisions already made by the top leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. After the 1989 elections–the first, and as it turned out, only, free elections ever held in the Soviet Union–the Soviet of the Union acquired a much greater role, and was the scene of many lively debates.

The Soviet of the Union elected a chairman (who would lead the sessions of the chamber), his 4 deputies and permanent commissions: Mandates, Legislative Proposals, Budget Planning, Foreign Affairs, Youth Affairs, Industry, Transportation and Communications, Construction and Industry of Building Materials, Agriculture, Consumer goods, Public Education, Healthcare and Social Security, Science and Culture, Trade, Consumer Service and Municipal Economy, Environment.

The Soviet of the Union was effectively dissolved on 12 December 1991, two weeks before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, when the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic recalled its deputies, leaving it without a quorum. The legality of this action was questionable, since the Soviet Constitution did not allow a republic to unilaterally recall its deputies. However, by this time the Soviet government had been rendered more or less impotent and was thus in no position to object.


Uskoreniye (Russian: ускоре́ние, IPA: [ʊskɐˈrʲenʲɪɪ]; literally meaning acceleration) was a slogan and a policy announced by Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on 20 April 1985 at a Soviet Party Plenum, aimed at the acceleration of political, social and economic development of the Soviet Union. It was the first slogan of a set of reforms that also included perestroika (restructuring), glasnost (transparency), new political thinking, and democratisation.

In May 1985, Gorbachev gave a speech in Leningrad, during which he admitted the slowing down of the economic development and inadequacy of living standards. This was the first time in history that a Soviet leader had done so.

The program was furthered at the 27th Congress of the Communist Party in Gorbachev's report to the congress, in which he spoke about "perestroika", "uskoreniye", "human factor", "glasnost", and "expansion of the khozraschyot" (commercialization). The acceleration was planned to be based on technical and scientific progress, revamping of heavy industry (in accordance with the Marxian economics postulate about the primacy in development of heavy industry over light industry), taking the "human factor" into account, and increasing the labour discipline and responsibility of apparatchiks. In practice it was implemented with the help of massive monetary emission infused into heavy industry, which further destabilised the economy and in particular brought an enormous disparity between actual cash money and virtual money used in cashless clearings (безналичный расчёт) between enterprises and state and among enterprises.

The politics of mere "acceleration" eventually failed, which was de facto admitted in June 1987 at a Party Plenum, and the "uskoreniye" slogan was phased out in favor of the more ambitious "Perestroika" (restructuring of the whole economy).

Vitaliy Kalynychenko

Vitaliy Kalynychenko (Ukrainian: Віталій Калиниченко, January 31, 1938 - April 27, 2017) was a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group.

Kalynychenko's first transgression of Soviet law was his nonagreement to work for the KGB. He was approached in 1964 to act as an informant, but his unwillingness to do so caused him to be arrested by a fellow student in 1965. He was released without charge, and worked in Leningrad as an electrical engineer.

by location
Later events
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also
Template Templates

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.