Mounting domestic pressure for democratic change in Eurasia was met with increasingly repressive policies by the region’s autocratic governments in 2012, according to the newly released edition of Nations in Transit, Freedom House’s annual analysis of democratic development from Central Europe to Central Asia. The year’s events show that the entrenchment of authoritarian rule has come at the cost of increased corruption, censorship of the media, suppression of civil society, and in some cases violence against the political opposition.
Freedom House is alarmed by the violent attack on journalists covering an opposition demonstration in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, and calls of the authorities to conduct a full investigation and bring the attackers to justice. Any further delay in investigating the attackers, at least some of whom are apparently known to the authorities, is an abandonment of the authorities’ responsibility to ensure the safe and unhindered work of journalists and contributes to impunity of those who attack them.
Freedom House welcomes the pardon of several former government officials in Ukraine, most prominently Yuriy Lutsenko, a Minister of Interior under former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and former Minister of Ecology and Environment, Heorhiy Filipchuk. It calls on President Viktor Yanukovych to take similar action on Tymoshenko.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Far-right extremism represents a threat to the democratic development of Ukrainian society. The brief provides an overview of the activities and influence of the far right, differentiating between groups that express radical ideas but by and large operate within a democratic framework and extremist groups, which resort to violence to influence society.
Ультраправий екстремізм несе загрозу демократичному розвитку українського суспільства. У цьому тексті викладений огляд діяльності та впливу ультраправих, зважаючи на різницю між групами, що висловлюють радикальні ідеї, проте більшою чи меншою мірою діють в рамках демократичної системи, та екстремістськими групами, які вдаються до насильства для впливу на суспільство
This latest analytical brief looks at how the country survived the storm using administrative measures, macroeconomic policy, and international support, and argues there are no alternatives to reforming the economy.