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When Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin announced last week that he intended—and had always intended—to return to the presidency, he effectively tore down a flimsy veil of constitutional rectitude that had separated Russia from the autocracies of Central Asia. For over four years, Russians were invited to believe that unlike the perpetual presidents in those countries, their leader would uphold the rule of law and make way for new blood in the form of his chosen successor, Dmitri Medvedev. Now, however, it appears that Medvedev’s entire presidency was an artifice designed to circumvent the ban on more than two consecutive terms.

Today Freedom House honors the life and work of Natalya Estemirova, a brave Russian human rights defender and journalist, who was abducted and murdered in the North Caucasus region of Russia on July 15, 2009.

One year before the pivotal presidential election in March 2012, Russia confronts an immense and growing corruption problem at all levels of government and society that severely threatens chances for reform, according to a special report released today by Freedom House and the Latvian policy institute Providus.

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Experts

Senior Program Officer for Europe and Eurasia

Gina S. Lentine is Senior Program Officer for Europe and Eurasia at Freedom House. 

Regions: 
Director, Europe and Eurasia programs

Marc Behrendt is the Director for Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House, with over 20 years of experience working in the Eurasia region in peacebuilding, governance and human rights.

Regions: 

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Contending with Putin's Russia

As President Barack Obama enters his second term, relations with Russia present him with a set of thorny problems. This package of materials includes policy proposals, a summary of Russian legal restrictions on NGOs, a chronology of repressive actions under Vladimir Putin since 2000, and graphs illustrating Russia's score declines in Freedom House's annual 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.

Programs

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