Our lead editorial touts the latest “Nations in Transit” report from Freedom House, which finds that Russia “has undergone the largest decline of any country in the study” of 29 countries in post-Soviet space where human rights and democracy are concerned. Here is the executive summary from the Russia report.
Over the past decade, Russia’s government has become increasingly authoritarian. Boris Yeltsin’s presidential tenure from 1991 to 1999 saw competitive, but tainted, elections, relatively free television discussions, an incipient civil society, and somewhat decentralized political power. However, it laid the groundwork for increasingly authoritarian rule with the 1993 tank assault on the Parliament, a super-presidential constitution, the first Chechen war, and extensive corruption.