- the declared public policy within the Soviet Union of openly and frankly discussing economic and political realities: initiated under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985.
- the policy of public frankness and accountability developed in the former Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail gorbachev
1972 (in reference to a letter of 1969 by Solzhenitsyn), from Russian glasnost “openness to public scrutiny,” literally “publicity, fact of being public,” ultimately from Old Church Slavonic glasu “voice” (see call). First used in a socio-political sense by Lenin; popularized in English after Mikhail Gorbachev used it prominently in a speech of March 11, 1985, accepting the post of general secretary of the CPSU.
The Soviets, it seems, have rediscovered the value of Lenin’s dictum that “glasnost,” the Russian word for openness or publicity, is a desirable form of conduct. [New York Times news service article, March 1981]
A Russian word meaning “openness,” which describes the policy of Mikhail Gorbachev, premier of the former Soviet Union. The term refers to a general loosening of government control on all aspects of life in the Soviet Union, even to the point of permitting criticism of government policies.