* Freedom House, the U.S.-based democracy watchdog, presented a report last week in Kyiv warning that Ukraine is sliding towards authoritarianism under [President] Yanukovych.
* “Address the systemic and pervasive corruption that…touches the lives of every citizen at every level,” Thomas Mirow, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said at an investors’ council meeting chaired by [President] Yanukovych.
* Ukraine is a high-risk destination for investment. According to the June Euromoney Country Risk Survey, Ukraine remains among the 10 riskiest countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
* Among those crimes allegedly caught on tape was the Sept 16, 2000 murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze, a crime for which [Former President] Kuchma now faces charges of exceeding his powers.
* By 1944, only 700 of 220,000 Jews in Lviv, [Ukraine] were alive
* Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko asked the European Court of Human Rights on June 21 to recognize domestic criminal probes against her as politically motivated…Now in opposition and barred by prosecutors from travelling outside Kyiv, Tymoshenko has been charged with misallocating hundreds of millions of dollars while in office.
* In this homegrown culture of keeping investors out and roughing up those brave enough to arrive, even fast-growing domestic businesses whose owners have political clout no longer dare to raise fresh investment by listing on the local stock market.
* Objective, hard-hitting coverage of two high-profile events involving President Viktor Yanukovych were noticeably absent….While more subtle than outright censorship, we suspect these incidents demonstrate yet another layer of purposeful barriers to make it more difficult for citizens to get all sides of the story, in part by keeping out independent and critical journalists.
* Ukraine’s population has shrunk from 51 million people in 1991 to less than 46 million people today. Besides low birth rates and high mortality rates, millions of Ukrainians have gone abroad seeking better lives.