Ukraine has enacted a number of positive reforms since the protest-driven ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. However, corruption remains endemic, and initiatives to combat it are only partially implemented. Attacks against journalists, civil society activists, and members of minority groups are frequent, and police responses are often inadequate. Russia occupies the autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea, which it invaded in the aftermath of Yanukovych’s ouster, and its military supports armed separatists in the eastern Donbas area.
Democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms in Ukraine are seriously challenged by the grinding military conflict in the country’s east (Donbas), Russia’s occupation and de facto control of Crimea, widespread impunity for human rights abuses, and slow reform in key areas, such as the security and justice sectors. At the same time, the flourishing of civil society, major reforms since the Euromaidan revolution, and a vibrant media demonstrate Ukraine’s promise as an open and pluralistic democracy. As Ukraine struggles with the challenge of building its democracy in the face of significant threats, Freedom House works with an array of partners to mobilize their efforts to resist censorship, advocate in support of human rights and good governance, conduct public oversight over the law-enforcement and security sector, and protect activists and journalists from persecution and violence. Freedom House provides needed support to civic advocates, including LGBT+ people, human-rights defenders, citizen journalists, and religious and ethnic minorities.
- Expanding Allies for LGBT+ Rights in Ukraine
- Strengthening Champions for Free Expression in Ukraine in a Time of Conflict
- Security Services Under Civic Oversight in Ukraine
- United to Confront Hate-Motivated Violence in Ukraine
Countries in the Spotlight
Freedom in the World's Countries in the Spotlight features countries that experienced important developments in 2019 that affected their democratic trajectory, and deserve special scrutiny in 2020. In Ukraine, electoral victories by Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his party offered the new president a mandate to end hostilities in Russian-occupied Donbas and restart the fight against corruption. View the full report to see the other Countries in the Spotlight.
Nations in Transit — Ukraine Country Report
Categorized as a Transitional or Hybrid regime, Ukraine receives a Democracy Percentage of 40 out of 100 in the Nations in Transit 2020 report.
Freedom on the Net— Ukraine Country Report
Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.
In Eastern Europe and Beyond, a Dearth of Guidance on Regulating Disinformation
July 8, 2020
Ukraine: Ensure Journalists’ Safety and the Public’s Right to Truth
Testimony and remarks
June 30, 2020
Ukraine Should Not Deport Asylum-Seeking Activist to Kazakhstan
May 21, 2020
Ukraine: Prisoner Exchange Welcome, but Reveals Unfulfilled Demands for Justice
January 9, 2020
Ukraine: Azerbaijani Activist Deported on Politically Motivated Grounds
December 15, 2019
Ukraine: Prisoner Swap Is Small but Significant Step toward Ending Conflict
September 8, 2019