Ukraine

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Post-Soviet countries often struggle to build democratic institutions and free and open societies, and Ukraine is no exception.  In its first decade of independence, Ukraine evolved into a highly centralized and corrupt managed democracy.  The seemingly inevitable progression toward autocracy was abruptly halted by the 2004 Orange Revolution, a public protest against fraudulent presidential elections.   However constant political in-fighting thwarted any significant economic and political reforms and Victor Yanukovych, whose government has been widely criticized for a regression in democracy, was elected president in 2010.  This trend continued in the 2012 parliamentary elections which international organizations, including IRI and the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe, determined were a step backward in Ukraine’s democratic development.