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Democracy Index 2022: Russia 'acquiring many features of dictatorship'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 2, 2023 5:59 AM 2 min read
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Russia recorded the biggest drop in score of any country in the world in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine and further repressions in Russia, according to Democracy Index's annual report.

Russia scored 2.28 out of 10, ranking 146th out of 165 states included in the report. The country "has been on a trajectory away from democracy for a long time and is now acquiring many of the features of a dictatorship," the report said.

Close ally of Russia's Belarus scored an abysmal 1.99, ranking 153rd out of 165, which represents a seven-point change from the year prior.

With the world looking away, Russia quietly took control over Belarus

Commenting on Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the report said that "Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is the product of an imperial mindset (an “empire state of mind”)."

The Democracy Index, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit of the British weekly newspaper The Economist, began in 2006 and aims to provide a picture of democracy around the world. The index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties.

Each country is then classified as having either a “full democracy," “flawed democracy," “hybrid regime,” or “authoritarian regime.”

Overall, the report found that stagnation reigned in 2022, "a dismal result given that in 2022 the world started to move on from the pandemic-related suppression of individual liberties that persisted." The global average Democracy Index score remained largely unchanged from the year before.

The report also found that more than one-third of the world’s population lives under authoritarian regimes (36.9%), the majority being in China and Russia.

Ukraine scored 5.42 out of 10, ranking 87th out 165, which is a change of one in rank from the year before. Ukraine is classified as a "hybrid regime" by the index.

On Ukraine's fight against Russia, the report said that "the commitment of the Ukrainian people to fight for the right to decide their own future is inspiring. It shows the power of democratic ideas and principles to bind together a nation and its people in the pursuit of democracy."

Where is Russia’s anti-war opposition?
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