. . . while glasnost takes on new meaning THE RUSSIANS are coming grabbing not for American innocents to enslave, as Cold War sages used to predict, but for old-fashioned dough, glitz and glamour. The first Soviet player has joined the National Hockey League without having to defect first. More contracts with Soviet athletes reportedly are being negotiated. Another Soviet chess player, a teenage wunderkind, wants to stay in this country. And Soviet actress Natalya Negoda, Mother Russia's pioneering sex symbol, is on the cover of May's Playboy magazine. Ms. Negoda's career better than any other illustrates the amazing extent to which liberal policies of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) have been changirg the attitudes of Soviet citizens. The actress' big break was the leading role in the 1988 hit movie "Little Vera" - I an unprecedented frank depiction of life in the Soviet working class, including realistic treatments of sex, alcoholism and domestic violence. Although Ms. Negoda complains that she still receives huge quantities of obscene mail as a result of that role, she apparently did not hesitate to come to the Big Apple to promote the film and break into the U.S. girlie magazine market. Asked if baring her bosom for Playboy as the "glasnost girl" won't get her in trouble back in Moscow, the actress predicted that while some "will think it reflects badly on Soviet life and morality . . . others will applaud me for it." She also was confident that the authorities would let her keep her fee for posing. To paraphrase Soviet-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff: The Soviet Union, what a country!