The year 2010 has seen a number of new, disturbing political developments in Ukraine. If these trends continue, they many undermine Ukraine’s international image as the only solidly pro-democratic oriented country in the former Soviet space.
All major institutions and structures that make up a functioning democracy have suffered from worrying interventions by the new Ukrainian leadership: parliamentary procedures, the rule of law, mass media, civil society and even higher education. They have been widely reported in both the Ukrainian and international press.
Another emerging problem for Ukraine’s future international reputation has, at the same time, remained largely ignored by most observers: the recent rise of the right-wing All-Ukrainian Association “Svoboda” (Freedom) of Oleh Tiahnybok, a physician and lawyer from western Ukraine’s largest city, Lviv. His ultra-nationalist party grew out of the clearly fascist Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) founded in 1991 in Lviv.