One year into Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency, Ukraine has experienced a disturbing decline in democratic practices and human rights that, if unchecked, threatens a return to the authoritarianism of the country’s pre-Orange Revolution period, according to a special report [PDF] — Sounding the Alarm: Protecting Democracy in Ukraine — released today by Freedom House.
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First and foremost, I want to point out very clearly to all readers that I am not picking on Ukraine. What is presented here is not unique to Ukraine. While it might appear that I’m singling out Ukraine, there’s a converse and profound condition to be considered: I reveal this, in Ukraine, because I can. In the former Soviet Union, freedom to do such a thing is quite an accomplishment for a newly-independent country in and of itself. Thus, what I’m writing about, tragic and brutal though it is, should also be considered in that light.