We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Glasnost?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Glasnost was the official Soviet governmental policy of openness and transparency implemented in the mid-1980s. It allowed for honesty in discussing the problems and shortcomings of the country, and for consultation in the governing and leadership of the U.S.S.R. Glasnost, which can mean "publicity," encouraged a dissemination of information and was initiated by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 as a part of his emerging perestroika policy. It was used by Gorbachev to reduce corruption among the Communist leaders of the Soviet government and to curtail the censorship that was characteristic of Communist rule.

Gorbachev, then General Secretary of the governing body of the country, and later made president in 1991, used glasnost in tandem with economic decentralization and freedom. Though the policies combined would ultimately result in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, they would result in greater freedom of the press and freedom of dissent. In bringing the people of the U.S.S.R. toward a policy of glasnost, Gorbachev hoped to phase many Communist policies out of the government and society of the country, and to bring democracy to Russia.

The glasnost policy was the centerpiece of a three-pronged program implemented by Gorbachev and was important in allowing for a public voice. Glasnost gave Russians for the first time in recent memory the ability to engage in political debate, the forum to disagree with politicians, and the power to foster change. Academic and scientific voices were for the first time allowed to debate the Communist hierarchy under glasnost, and this engagement would lead to the dissolution of Communist power.

It was through glasnost that the media was first allowed uncensored coverage of the government policies of the country. This led to the initial coverage of the perestroika programs, and the eventual Russian knowledge of the shortcomings of the program. The new freedom encouraged criticism of the failing economic programs of Gorbachev, and found revolutionaries around the Soviet Union dissenting. The satellite states of Russia began crumbling under this new political freedom in 1991, and were followed by the democratization of many other Eastern European countries throughout the 1990s.

Around the Soviet Union, glasnost made for looser restrictions in all areas of life. The resulting ties with the Western world were evident as Soviets began traveling more, introducing American and European customs, ideas, and politics, and doing business with Western entrepreneurs. Though glasnost failed in reforming the Soviet Union toward a more unified collection of states, the collapse of 1991 was not absent of the newfound democratic practices experience by millions.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By lovealot — On May 21, 2011

@SweetPeas - It's complicated for me too - but here goes. The Soviet Union had been under Soviet Communist rule for many years. The people had no rights. If they criticized the government, they might be sent to Siberia or killed.

In 1985, the leader,Gorbechev, began to let more people speak out about their ideas. He let the newspapers print their own stories, and as time went on, he let all citizens speak freely. He was trying to get rid of Communism and make Russia a democracy. The people were very happy to have this freedom.

By sweetPeas — On May 18, 2011

Politics has always been a hard subject for me. I know that glasnost helped the country and people of the Soviet Union, but I still don't exactly understand what happened. Need help.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.