Soviet Union Table of Contents
Gorbachev's policy of glasnost' (see Glossary) exposed the official corruption, economic malaise, and general discontent that had permeated Soviet society for some time prior to his assumption of power. Gorbachev encouraged public discussion of sensitive issues, including the question of nationalities and religions in the Soviet Union. These policies led to a renewed ferment among the nationalities throughout the Soviet Union. By 1987 the Baltic nationalities, Armenians, Ukrainians, Soviet Muslims, Belorussians, Georgians, and others, including native Russians themselves, were expressing their national and religious grievances and calling on the regime to redress them.
Data as of May 1989