Freedom House today publish their latest analysis of democratic trends in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, 'Nations in Transit 2012'.

The report warns of rising anti-democratic tendencies in Hungary and Ukraine, where so-called reforms are systematically breaking down democratic checks and balances. President of Freedom House, David J Kramer says that they "appear to be pursuing the 'Putinization' of their countries..."

Under the Yanukovych government, Ukraine’s Nations in Transit ratings worsened in five categories year on year, with a steep decline in judicial framework and independence and an overall democracy score that is rapidly approaching its pre–Orange Revolution level. Ukraine's scores have declined in the areas of electoral process, independent media, democratic governance, judicial framework and independence, corruption - leading to a reduced overall 'democracy' score. Amongst its neighbours, Ukraine ranks with Georgia and Moldova in terms of democratic progress and is well behind those former Eastern bloc countries who are now EU members.

Ukraine already had a long way to go to reach European standards of democracy. These steps backwards make the mountain even more difficult to climb and, while President Yanukovych is saying that a 'break' in Ukraine/EU dialogue may not be a bad thing, there is little sign that he and his government understand just how much they need to do to develop and consolidate democracy in Ukraine.

For the full report, click here.

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