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News & Updates

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, CNN's Global Public Square looks at Freedom House's rankings of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics to see how those liberated countries have actually fared.

In a new report, Freedom House highlights Russia's pivotal role in a decade-long decline in democracy among the countries of the post-Soviet sphere.

Sanctions may not stop Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine, but Western policymakers should embrace them for another reason: because they can put a nail in the coffin of the project that started the Ukraine crisis to begin with -- Eurasian integration. Click here to read Nate Schenkkan's Foreign Affairs op-ed.

Nate Schenkkan
Project Director, Nations in Transit

This month has provided another good example of the Kazakh government’s tendency—every time there is a decision to be made—to opt for a tighter grip on civil society and public discourse. 



Director for Eurasia Programs


Signature Reports

Special Reports

Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On

“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report  concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.

The Perpetual Battle: Corruption in the Former Soviet Union and the New EU Members

This article provides an overview of a number of key issues related to corruption that confront the countries of the former Soviet Union and the new members of the European Union. Findings from Nations in Transit, Freedom House's annual assessment of democratic development in the region, suggest that despite the passage of two decades since the collapse of the Soviet system, the non-Baltic former Soviet Union remains mired in institutionalized graft. Meanwhile, the new EU member states face their own persistent challenges as they struggle to combat political corruption.

Muzzling the Media: The Return of Censorship in the Commonwealth of Independent States

Only a decade and a half since the end of the Cold War, freedom of the press for millions of people across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has come nearly full circle. The media landscape across most of today’s CIS in some aspects differs from that of the Soviet era, but in important ways is imposing a no less repressive news media environment. Gone is all encompassing ideological state media control. Russia – and most of the countries on its periphery – today features modern methods of information control that effectively shuts off the majority of people in these lands from news and information of political consequence.


In Kazakhstan, we work with prominent human rights organizations and religious communities to advocate against the government’s repeated attempts to institute repressive religious laws.


In Kazakhstan, Freedom House enhances the capacity of local civil society groups to rapidly respond to human rights violations and to provide advocates with the skills to defend the right to freedom of assembly.