The Legacy of the Wall | Freedom House

The Legacy of the Wall

The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, triggering a series of events that ultimately ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991. The legacy of Communism in Eastern Europe has been much harder to dismantle.

Citizens in 9 of the 21 countries, including Russia under Vladimir Putin, have seen a reduction in freedom since 1991, according to Freedom House, which scores countries from 1 to 7 on the extent of citizens' political rights and civil liberties. Scores for Russia and Belarus have dropped the most, from 5 to 2.5 and 4 to 1.5, respectively. (The Freedom House scale here is inverted, showing higher numbers as better.)

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have the lowest freedom scores, each at 1. Neither has held a single free or fair election since independence, according to Freedom House, and neither has an independent legal system or permits serious political opposition. Romania has shown the biggest improvement in freedom scores since 1991, jumping from 3 to 6.

Check out the full interactive article at Bloomberg Businessweek:

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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