Back in the USSR
Every year the good folks at Freedom House prepare a worldwide survey of the state of freedom and democracy. This year’s report on Vladimir Putin’s Russia is particularly horrifying, and not even because Russia’s scores were lower than they have ever been, although they certainly were. What was most jolting was a look back at the trend Russia has now conclusively displayed under Vladimir Putin.
Under FH’s methodology, each country is assigned a numerical rating from 1 to 7 in a variety of basic criteria, with 1 representing the most freedom and 7 representing the least. Tracking the data over time from 2002 through 2011 produces the following chart:
Putin Knifes the Infant RuNet
If we were talking international basketball scores, those would be good numbers for Russia. But we’re not. We’re talking Internet freedom, as analyzed by Freedom House. The higher the score, the less the freedom.
FH reviewed Internet access among a group of 37 countries around the world, and found that Georgia ranks #12 in the group, in the top third and right behind South Korea, while Russia ranks #22, right behind Rwanda and well into the bottom half of all countries surveyed. In the group of nations designated by FH as “partly free” only four have lower scores than Russia (including Egypt at 54 and Pakistan at 55). The USA’s score is 13, surpassed in the group only by Estonia.
Twice as many Russian bloggers were arrested in the most recent survey period compared to the last one. Russia’s rank fell three places since the prior survey, and its score got much worse, from 49 in 2009 to 52 in 2011.
If course, it may not matter much how free or unfree Russia’s Internet is, because according to FH two-thirds of the Russian population has no Internet access at all.
Posted in editorial, georgia, internet, neo-soviet crackdown, russia
Tagged freedom house, georgia, Internet in Russia, Mikheil Saakashvili, russia, vladimir frolov, vladimir putin
Russia descends further into the Totalitarian Mire
Late last year, when the Reporters without Borders organization released its latest index of press freedom, we learned that Russia had fallen a shocking 12 places from its ranking the prior year to #153 in the world out of 175 countries under study, for the first time dropping below the crazed dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.
Last week, Freedom House released the latest results of its own ongoing study of press freedom. According to FH, Russia is doing even worse than RWB imagines. Russia is 26th out of 29 nations in Eastern Europe and a jolting, appalling #175 overall out of 196 nations under review. At rank number 175, Russia is tied with the crude African banana republic of Gambia according to FH’s seasoned analysts.
These ratings are eerily similar to other ratings held by Russia. It also doesn’t rank in the top 100 nations of the world in criteria like life expectancy or fertility. These facts are indicative of absolute, total failure on the part of the so-called “government” of Russia to build a successful, civilized state.
We cannot help but ask ourselves: Do the people of Russia have any shame at all?
Russia is Exporting Dictatorship
The democracy defenders at Freedom House have released a devastating new report on Russia, entitled Undermining Democracy and lumping it together with rogue nations like Iran and Venezuela, its allies, as states which are aggressively, ideologically, seeking to destroy the institution of democracy both at home and abroad. FH had already released a report detailing how the Putin regime has continued to wipe out democracy within Russia’s borders, and now it shows, beginning with the example of Russian aggression in Georgia, that the KGB Kremlin is not satisfied with exterminating freedom within Russia’s own borders.
Brutally subtitled “Selective Capitalism and Kleptocracy,” the FH report lays bare the barabaric conduct of the Putin regime in seeking to replicate itself like a virus thoughout post-Soviet space.