Ukraine improves its press freedom rating


According to the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index published today, Ukraine is in 87th place out of 173 countries.  It has thus risen five places.

For comparison, Russia is in 141st position. Georgia has dropped to 120 due to journalists being obstructed in objectively covering the conflict with Russia.

According to the press release, “

The most significant development in the former Soviet periphery is the deterioration in the Caucasus, where two of its three independent countries - Armenia (102nd) and Georgia (120th) - had major problems and introduced states of emergency. Several journalists fell victim to the sudden outbreak of war in Georgia.

The countries of Central Asia continue to lag far behind, with Uzbekistan (162nd) and Turkmenistan (171st) coming in the last 20 along with Belarus (154th). The situation in Russia (141st), where the press continues to be subject to violence and harassment, has been changed little by Dimitri Medvedev’s election as president.

It is not economic prosperity but peace that guarantees press freedom. That is the main lesson to be drawn from the world press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders compiles every year and from the 2008 edition, released today. Another conclusion from the index - in which the bottom three rungs are again occupied by the “infernal trio” of Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd) and Eritrea (173rd) - is that the international community’s conduct towards authoritarian regimes such as Cuba (169th) and China (167th) is not effective enough to yield results.

The report in full can be found here:

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