The traditionally low places of Russia in international ratings of freedoms in recent decades have ceased to be surprising. This year, the Reporters Without Borders organization assigned Russia 149th out of 180.
In the press freedom index of 2011-2012, Russia, for example, had 142nd place. Of the former Union republics of the USSR, the situation was worse then only in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Turkmenistan. From large foreign countries - in Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China, Iran. By 2019, Russia fell to the 149th place, which remained this year. This is a place between Honduras and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Belarus was in 153rd place, Ukraine - in 96th place.
According to Interfax , the Reporters Without Borders organization nonetheless noted deterioration situations with freedom of speech in Russia. According to the organization, in Russia after the mass protests of 2011-2012, pressure continues to increase on independent media, "draconian laws" are introduced, and websites are blocked and Internet disconnections are practiced. The review notes the strengthening of control over independent media or even their destruction, propaganda of official television channels, the persecution of many journalists and bloggers, the participation of "state Internet trolls" in promoting misinformation in social networks.
The situation with freedom of speech is best marked this year in the countries of Northern Europe - Norway, Finland and Denmark, and worst of all - in Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea. Germany was in 11th place, Great Britain in 35th place, the United States in 45th place, the newspaper Kommersant notes .
In the future , Reporters Without Borders also does not expect a change for the better. In their opinion, the next decade will be critical for journalism in most countries, including the coronavirus pandemic, which only exacerbates pre-existing problems and crises. According to the organization’s experts, now the world is experiencing a geopolitical crisis caused by the aggressive actions of authoritarian regimes, a technological crisis due to the lack of guarantees for the freedoms of technology users, a crisis of democracy caused by polarization in society, a crisis of confidence in the media and an economic crisis. All this affects the quality of journalism negatively.
For example, even in Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban initiated the adoption of a law that implies a prison term of up to five years for “disseminating false information about the coronavirus,” which, according to Reporters Without Borders, is an excessively harsh punishment.