Ukraine is a “partially free” country, according to the authors of the annual report on Freedom in the World 2018 of the international human rights protection organization Freedom House. The report analyzes the state of civil and political rights in 195 countries of the world.
“Ukraine continues to recover from the chaos caused by the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych from the presidency in 2014, as well as the related crisis sparked by Russia’s occupation of Crimea and military support for separatists in the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine. The authorities’ failure to prosecute extensive high-level corruption has undermined the popularity of the government and affected some reform efforts. In the sphere of civil liberties, political pressure and attacks on journalists have threatened freedom of the press,” the report on Ukraine states.
It is noted that the government made progress in drafting and implementing a number of reforms during 2017, made efforts to fight widespread corruption. In May, new sanctions restricted Ukrainians’ access to popular Russian social media platforms and news outlets. Intermittent fighting continued in the eastern Donbas region.
At the same time, in May more than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since it erupted in mid-2014, more than a quarter of them civilians.
Also, it is reported that corruption remains a serious problem, but there is small political will to fight it despite all pressure from civil society. The NABU faced pressure from high-level government figures as well as from law enforcement agencies, which late in the year arrested the NABU officials and seized some of the bureau’s files, while the first one was busy investigating corrupted officials.
The authors write that Russian journalists in Ukraine are being harassed.
“Journalists face political interference as well as violence and harassment. Authorities continued to censor some Russian news sources and ban individual Russian journalists from entering the country in 2017. In May, sanctions targeting Russian media, which were initially issued in 2014 in response to propagandistic content designed to support the Russian occupation of Crimea, were applied to the popular Russian social networking sites Odnoklassniki and VK, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, and the search engine Yandex, among others,” it is claimed.
As it was reported earlier the UN General Assembly passed the resolution about the situation with human rights observation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The vote took place during the Assembly’s 72nd session on Tuesday, December 19. Seventy member-countries supported the document; 26 did not support, and another 76 abstained.
Read the original text at Freedom House.