Press release

Freedom House Affirms Ukrainian Sovereignty and Right to Freedom; Denounces Putin’s Dangerous and Illegal Escalation

Democracies must respond forcefully to halt Russian troop deployment into Ukraine, which violates international law and puts Ukrainians’ lives at risk.

In response to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s deployment of troops into Eastern Ukraine, following an announcement that Russia would unilaterally recognize parts of eastern Ukraine as independent states, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Ukraine is a sovereign democracy. Putin ordering an invasion based on the false pretense of territorial independence would be a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, against international law, and unacceptable. The Ukrainian people have a fundamental right to live freely, choose their leaders, and govern themselves,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.

“The United States, Europe, and all democracies must stand together to support human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine. Those committed to building a world where governments respond to the will of their people and protect fundamental rights must stand united against Putin’s efforts to invade Ukraine for his personal gain, which will destabilize the region, undermine the democratic systems, and defy the will of the Ukrainian people, who wish for freedom.”

Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2021, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2021, and as a Consolidated Authoritarian Regime in Nations in Transit 2021.

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2021, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2021, and as a Transitional or Hybrid Regime in Nations in Transit 2021.