Accessibility links

Breaking News

Freedom House Warns Of 'Putinization' Risk For Hungary, Ukraine

Freedom House accuses President Viktor Yanukovych of "systematically breaking down critical checks and balances" in Ukraine.
U.S.-based rights watchdog Freedom House has warned that Hungary and Ukraine are at the forefront of an antidemocratic drive that could lead to what the group calls the "Putinization" of young European democracies.

The group said in its "Nations in Transit 2012" report that steps away from democracy in the two states have raised questions about the strength of the Europe's postcommunist democracies.

Freedom House singles out Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for "systematically breaking down critical checks and balances" and pursuing the "Putinization" -- referring to the strongman-style of longtime Russian leader Vladimir Putin -- of their governments.

The report said democratic reforms have stalled over the past years in most Balkan states.

Declines were also noted in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and in Russia, where Putin recently was inaugurated for a third presidential term after spending four years as prime minister.
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.