November 12th, 2014
05:58 PM ET

How 'free' are former Soviet Republics?

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Many of us remember when the Berlin Wall fell – the celebratory atmosphere, the cheers, the singing, the hammering, the fireworks – and most of all the promise of freedom. On the 25th anniversary we thought we'd look at Freedom House's rankings of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics to see how those liberated countries have actually fared.

Eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have all done very well, although countries like Albania and Bosnia/Herzegovina do need improvement with scores of "partly free."

Of the 15 former Soviet Republics; however, only three countries – the Baltic States – received an overall score of "free".  Five received were "partly free," but seven received a score of "not free."

Twelve of the 15 countries do not have an entirely free press. In fact, only North Korea has less press freedom than Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan! Most received poor scores on civil liberties and political rights. And finally, only six of the 15 countries can be considered electoral democracies at all, according to the most recent data.

Twenty-five years from now, let's hope we see an improved picture – one worthy of the feeling we all had on that day.

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soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. It's just an opinion

    How free are we?

    November 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      The answer is, It's just an opinion, is that one is as free as he can afford to be at least in a Capitalist society such as ours.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • Philip

      Alas. Freedom is just another word for Nothing Left to Lose has come to pass.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  2. Ferhat Balkan

    We need to break free from corporations ruling our government. We need to take money out of politics before we can consider ourselves free.

    November 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Ferhat quoting Jesus. "The meek shall inherit the earth" and ..

      November 12, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Philip

        ..."eThe truth shall set you free." As well as "If you truly desire to become my follower, first you must be rid of your excessive belongings.!" (Knick knacks and stuff. Fancy cars and4 40 lb. colons. You get his drift)

        November 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • Philip is stupid

        He also said "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

        November 12, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • George patton

      Well put, Ferhat. Thank you.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:38 am | Reply
    • Philip

      We need to break free of feeling obligated to vote for men with huge vested interests in weapons sales and oil exchanges. Is what we need, George.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • Dr. Phil

      We need to break free from using tons of pharmacy products that cause indigestion, birth defects, weight gain and brain damage. And stop feeling it's patriotic to vote. Stop voting for candidates with huge vested interests in drug and weapons sales. And crude oil exchanges.

      November 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  3. Philip

    Well, the oil-rich former Soviet states...the Stan countries around The Caspian Sea Basin, are free to observe what used to be their crude oil flowing through conquered Afghan pipelines and off to be sold to Chinese industry. And probably wishing their leaders had not sold mineral rights to Bushco Carlye Group/Bin Laden family.

    November 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  4. Philip

    Not long after the Soviet Union fell due to oil revenues lost to oil-rich Arab states that have ocean ports (soviet oil was all land locked), the James Baker III Texas lawfirm sent legal reps into each former southern soviet state that owned mineral rights to The Caspian Basin on behalf of a group of investors primarily made-up of members of the Bush and Bin Laden families. (this is over 30 years ago, btw. Who knows where your head was at the time) Leaders of former Soviet States now finding themselves leaders of nations gladly sold mineral rights. Those old soviet oilwells had all plugged themselves off with paraffin and would need Halliburton or Dowell Schlumberger to "frack" them back online. And even then, the only market for Caspian Basin Oil was China. And the Taliban government of Afghanistan would not allow use of Afghanistan's TAPI pipelines if it meant helping infidels sell oil to other infidels.
    And so the Taliban political party rightly ruling Afghanistan was demonized in the press just as the press had done to marijuana decades earlier. Taliban became synonymous with Satan in the minds of fat lazy Americans on meds.
    And there you have it.

    November 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  5. Oh be city

    Obesity accounts for 41% of all health care costs/reasons for Obamacare. If you are fat, it is your fault. Especially if you are obese AND vote.

    November 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Philip is stupid

      Oh fuck off, you low-functioning moron.

      November 12, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Reply
      • Ob ser ver

        Seems to me that those hijacking Philip's s/n are all lazy fat people on meds.

        November 13, 2014 at 3:04 am |
      • You're a dork

        Seems to me that you're a dork with the IQ of a kumquat.

        November 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • banasy©

        Seems to me that those hijacking anyone's s/n are all lazy fat people on meds.
        This includes those that bastardize usernames.

        November 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Barndaisy

        Seems to me someone should stop wearing her heart on her shirt sleeve. And stop being such a Bill Clinton doormat would go a long way.

        November 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • banasy©

        Those that bastardize names fancy themselves clever.
        I assure you, Barndaisy, they are not.

        What on earth does Bill Clinton have to do with this? What an odd topic to introduce to this conversation; are you obsessed with BC?

        November 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Philip

    Who Is this troll? Rupert or Adam.

    November 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      Not me Philip. And u. a.s.s. wholes stop stealing my name!

      November 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        Be quiet Rupert

        November 13, 2014 at 9:27 am |
  7. Adam

    Who are you calling a troll?

    November 12, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  8. Philip is stupid

    Who are you calling a Rupert?

    November 12, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  9. Blue Saffron

    Stop it guys! So then? Taliban and satan...

    November 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  10. Thomas

    Russia is # ! in fast food take out !

    Freedom is just an other word for nothing left to sell !

    November 13, 2014 at 2:23 am | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Philip may be stuborn and sometimes biased and often times bitter but he is not stupid!!!

    November 13, 2014 at 2:57 am | Reply
    • Ob ser ver

      No. We are a stupid people, we Americans. And we all got it coming. 9/11 was nothing compared to what we deserve for our badness. What goes around comes around. And folks, we got it coming in spades.

      November 13, 2014 at 3:12 am | Reply
  12. Blue Saffron

    Be quiet chrissy and observer. U raypists from India

    November 13, 2014 at 8:22 am | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    @ the derp ass troll, i do not have to be quiet and neither does Observer. If you dont like it go terrorize elsewhere ok.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Snob zerver

      Yeah. What Cri$$y said. 🙂

      November 13, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
  14. Philip

    While most all Americans are free to behave badly... pilfering from work, collecting food stamps not qualified for, shoplifting, lying on loan applications, eating more than our fair share of food, etc., most of US aren't really free. Rather than being free, being government dependants who are told they are free and so believe the official story. In reality, most of US are slaves to our own greedy selves and to a very very crooked government.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • rupert

      Well put, Philip and so very true, too.

      November 13, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • Dr. Phil

        Awe. Look it Rupert in his happy place. Riding around in his mind on a little stick pony like that midget on Bonanza used to ride. Little Joe the girl wrangler. Slapping his stick pony on the ass...gitty up and Go! little stick pony. Ride 'em blog tard.
        Lmao 🙂

        November 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  15. rupert

    I see that these Tea Partying idiots took over this web page, too. They never say anything worth a crap, just their ever boring childish rants! How great it would be if these people would only quit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 13, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Adam

      Rupert, you ought to know.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  16. chri§§y

    Yes @ Philip while americans are free to behave badly, that does not mean MOST of them do! And a great deal of Americans recieving food stamps would rather not have too! You did make a valid point yesterday about Big Banks in this country! They hold the largest part in the cause of our latest recession.

    November 13, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Philip

      No they don't hold the largest part, Chrissy. President Obama does. He could easily order audits of the fed/ventral banks by simply using his executive authority. But he doesn't. Because he's in cahoots with banksters. And druggists.

      November 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • banasy©


        November 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

        You forgot to mention the all powerful M.I.C., Philip.

        November 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  17. chri§§y

    Exactly @ Joey in black! And that marvelously dumb POTUS prior to our current POTUS! Ya know the one...the ONE who was in office when the recession BEGAN. Pretty easy now to blame the guy left with the mess to clean up due to the dumb one! Without a working Congress i might add...and whenever he does take the iniative to DO what that group of clowns (also known as high end welfare recipients) shouldve done, but dont because...well because they arent held accountable, and can just do nothing. Well what happens then? They sue him for doing THEIR job that they refuse to do! So sure @ Philip...lets blame that guy! Good grief!

    November 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  18. chri§§y

    And another thing about that Federal Reserve Audit, yes i agree it needs to be done...but remember what happened to Ron Paul when he brought that up? His own party stabbed him in the back! They dropped him like a hot potatoe! So seriously do you really believe Obama can just magically make it happen all by his lonesome? To coin one of your popular phrases son..get a clue lmao!

    November 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      President Obama could simply issue an executive order, Chrissy.

      November 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Reply
      • The Person Above Me

        Doesn't know how Executive Orders operate.

        November 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
  19. Philip

    The Military Industrial Complex is snake speak for one part of a global alliance of corporate fascist national leaders. Hardly "all powerful", Joey.

    November 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  20. chri§§y

    Hmmm and be sued again huh? Those romper room idiots in Congress would be on him like flies on sh!t and you know it. They would get a court order to stop him because after all, they are obstructionists! And i wouldnt be surprised if he did take that path, that he would end up the same as Kennedy! That aside...i believe he is sincerely concentrating on trying to make the lives of the American citizens better! More of a "we the people, for the people" kinda POTUS!

    November 13, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • The Person Above Me

      Is correct with her assessment of what would happen if the President tried to issue an executive order. He would be called a dictator by the stupid people in Congress and the stupider people on Fox.

      November 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    Lol @ the person above ME...i know how they work...i also know that crybaby Boehner and company have filed a lawsuit against the POTUS for doing that exact thing already!

    November 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • The Person Above Me

      Knows that John of Orange is actually a yellow color as in coward yellow.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  22. Aedar

    I'd just like to point something out. Czech Republic and Poland are NOT Eastern European countries, they are central european. Especially when you look at Czech Republic and connect north-eastern german (point where Poland, Czech Republic And germany meet) border and eastern austrian (point where Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia meet) border, most of the country will be behind this line...

    November 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      @Aedar. I bet you stink like chrissy's dirty feet.
      Am I right?

      November 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  23. chri§§y

    Lmao @ The person above THAT was funny...and i dont care who you are. Hes threatening another government shut down ya know, if the POTUS uses his Executive order on immagration. Something that was the job of the congressional brats in the 1st place, but has been added to that very lonnngggg list of things they just dont get around to completing.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  24. Danro

    The general rule is that the farther east you go from Germany, Austira, Italy and the Scandanavian countries the poorer and less democratic countries become. There are a lot of complicated reasons for this but based on what I seen coming from Eastern Europe, the more people are able to travel to western countries the more likely they will want the same thing back home. If you want more democratic and free countries in Europe and in the world, I would suggest making it easier for people from less democratic countries to come, travel, do business.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  25. Blue Saffron

    I guess so Danro. But some of these immigrants are dirty and stinky.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  26. Blue Saffron

    Seems to me Danro that them nappy holes from africa bring Ebola and them meskins bring TB.
    Aww shucks. Let's keep America beautiful and them out.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  27. Blue Saffron

    I personally know the president. We play basketball when time permits.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  28. Blue Saffron

    Don't u ever!!!!! never!!!! ever!!!!!call philip a dork. Only I can do that.
    @philip. U are a dork

    November 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  29. Blue Saffron

    10:30 & all the dirty trolls and bloggers are asleep.
    Los ers!

    November 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  30. Blue Saffron

    Oh well. Good night cutie patootie. Rupert says hey.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Reply
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