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Glasnost was one of Mikhail Gorbachev's policies introduced to the Soviet Union in 1985. It can be read as 'openness'. Gorbachev's goal in undertaking glasnost was in part to pressure conservatives within the party who opposed his policies of economic restructuring or perestroika.

Under Glasnost the people were told a large amount about the horrors committed by the government when Stalin was in power. Glasnost gave new freedom to the people, such as freedom of speech, which was a radical change because control of ideas had previously been a central part of the Soviet system.

Thousands of political prisoners and many dissidents were released in the spirit of Glasnost. However, Gorbachev's original goal of using glasnost and perestroika to reform the Soviet Union proved futile and the government of the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

See also Perestroika.

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