Perestroika and Glasnost Facts

Perestroika and Glasnost Facts
Perestroika and Glasnost were two programs initiated by Soviet Union Premier Mikhail Gorbachev (in office 1985-1991). Perestroika, which in English roughly translates to "restructuring," involved a protracted attempt to end corruption in the Soviet bureaucracy and to introduce some elements of the free market to the economy. Glasnost, which translates to "openness," was much more widespread and involved essentially a complete change from the traditional police state reminiscent of the Soviet Union. Under Glasnost, citizens were given more freedom, Moscow began to ease its control over the non-Russian Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact nations, Soviet citizens were allowed to leave the country more, and Westerners were allowed to visit the Soviet Union. Restrictions on imports were eased and the first McDonalds was built in the Soviet Union. Although Perestroika and Glasnost are rightfully seen as the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev introduced the programs to save the empire, arguing that it needed to be modernized in order to continue.
Interesting Perestroika and Glasnost Facts:
The Soviet government traditionally worked in secrecy, which Glasnost was supposed to remedy by bringing more transparency.
In 1988, Perestroika allowed for some private ownership of businesses for the first in sixty years.
Although Perestroika allowed for limited foreign investment in the Soviet, American President George H. W. Bush was adamant that no aid or investment by given to the Soviet Union.
The repressive Stalin regime was reexamined by Soviet scholars and officials during Glasnost. The Soviet Union admitted that Stalin committed atrocities for the first time during Glasnost.
The "500 Days" program of 1990 was a program that aimed to transition the Soviet Union from a centrally planned, socialist economy to a market economy.
One of the unintended effects of Perestroika and Glasnost was a reemergence of nationalism in eastern Europe. The renewed nationalism led to the non-Russian Soviet republics declaring their independence and the independent but communist countries of eastern Europe breaking away from the Warsaw Pact.
Gorbachev first used the terms Perestroika and Glasnost in 1986.
Hardliners in the Soviet government and military upset with Perestroika and Glasnost nearly removed Gorbachev in an attempted coup in August 1991.
Well liked in the West due to his Glasnost policy, Gorbachev was given the nickname "Gorby" by the Western media.
Viacheslav Fetisov was the first Soviet hockey player to be allowed to play in the National Hockey League. Before Fetisov, Russian players had defected, but thanks to Glasnost and Fetisov's efforts, he and seven other Soviet citizens were given visas that allowed them to work in the United States and Canada but remain in good standing with the Soviet Union.
The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved in July 1991 and in December the Soviet Union was also dissolved.
Due to the rapid dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Soviet's large and widely dispersed nuclear arsenal, Ukraine became a nuclear power in 1991. In 1994 Ukraine decided to destroy its nuclear arsenal.
During the 1992 Olympics, Russia competed with its former non-Russian republics as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).


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