In 1986 Mikhail Gorbachev and his advisers adopted "glasnost" as a political slogan, together with the obscure term "perestroika" in order to invoke the term's historical and contemporaneous resonance.
Glasnost was taken to mean increased openness and transparency in government institutions and activities in the Soviet Union (USSR). Glasnost reflected a commitment of the Gorbachev administration to allowing Soviet citizens to discuss publicly the problems of their system and potential solutions. Gorbachev encouraged popular scrutiny and criticism of leaders, as well as a certain level of exposure by the mass media.
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, makes a critical definition of the term in suggesting it was "a tortoise crawling towards Freedom of Speech".