Freedom Circle logo
Freedom Circle

Where Can You Find Freedom Today?

Territory in eastern Europe, ruled since 1991 by the republic of Uryad Ukrayiny

Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, translit. Ukrayina), sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km², making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 49° N — Longitude: 32° E

Area: 603,500 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: UA

Birthplace of

Rose D. Friedman, in Staryi Chortoryisk, on 25 Dec 1910
Ludwig von Mises, Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises, in Lemberg (Lviv), on 29 Sep 1881

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 6.72, Rank: 83, Personal freedom: 7.12, Economic freedom: 6.17
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 6.00, Rank: 135
Ukraine | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2024
2016: Status: Partly Free, Aggregate Score: 61, Political Rights: 3, Civil Liberties: 3
Conditions in Ukraine stabilized somewhat in 2015 compared with the previous year, which included the Euromaidan protests, the downfall of President Viktor Yanukovych, Russia's occupation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas, and presidential and parliamentary elections. With Crimea still held by Russia and continued fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko's top priority was restoring the country's territorial integrity and peace within its borders.


The American Disease, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 21 Mar 2014
Explains how U.S. government meddling in foreign countries (citing contemporaneous examples in the Ukraine and Russia) is generally counterproductive, even when genuinely attempting to advance liberty
[The] National Endowment for Democracy (NED) ... "... was created in 1983," Robert Parry writes, "to do in relative openness what the CIA had long done in secret, nurture pro-U.S. operatives under the umbrella of 'promoting democracy.'" Headed by Carl Gershman, Parry notes, "NED had 65 projects operating in [Ukraine] — training 'activists,' supporting 'journalists' and organizing business groups, according to its latest report." In other words, Ukrainian Russophiles were not out of their minds in believing that the not-so-hidden hand of the United States was behind the recent turmoil and regime change.
Democracy: The God That Failed, by Justin Raimondo, 12 Oct 2005
Discusses the actual results from the so-called Bush Doctrine involving "democratizing" the Middle East as well as several other countries which have a "democracy deficit"
The same reversal effect is evident in Ukraine, where another U.S.-supported-and-funded "revolution" has ... ushered in a system that bears little resemblance to Western liberal democracy. The "Orange Revolution" has turned sour on its enthusiasts, as Yushchenko and his former ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, ... turn on each other, and the president allies with his former enemies to keep his government from falling. Tymoshenko's crude attempts to fix prices, install her loyalists in key positions, and provoke a conflict with Russia were finally too much for the popular president, who had to step in and fire her.
Did Team Obama Blunder or Conspire in Ukraine?, by Sheldon Richman, 20 Mar 2014
Further analysis of the 2014 Ukraine and Russia situation after the latter annexed Crimea, considering whether this was engineered by the Obama administration purposely or with unwanted consequences, as an example of U.S. meddling in foreign nations
[U.S.-backed] machinations in Kiev ... led to the ouster of elected (if corrupt and power-hungry) president Viktor Yanukovych after street demonstrations, which included neo-Nazi elements now represented in the new government. About these machinations there is little doubt. We have a phone call between Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, in which they talk about who should rule Ukraine next ... The U.S. government worked to replace Yanukovych with its "guy" — which is not what the Obama administration tells the American people.
Related Topics: Foreign entanglements, Russia
How Americans Can Help Ukrainians, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Mar 2014
Suggests opening U.S. borders to allow Ukrainians (and others) to immigrate and thus help defuse the situation in their country with respect to Russia and the Crimea
There are about a million Ukrainians in the United States (2006 census figures), ... with the largest centers in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Cleveland, and Indianapolis. The newcomers need not be strangers in a strange land, though they should be welcome throughout the country. Respecting the freedom to move ... might also have benefits in Ukraine itself. The kleptocrats of all parties, who have used Ukraine like their personal milch cow, might finally realize their folly if they witnessed an exodus of their most enterprising and ambitious residents.
Related Topics: Free trade, Russia
Let's Have Candor from the NATO Summit, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Sep 2014
Comments on the article "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault" by foreign policy scholar John Mearsheimer, about the 2013-2014 Ukrainian crisis
Ukraine was the invasion route into Russia three times in the past and has long hosted a major Russian naval base in Crimea ... American neoconservatives spoke of Ukraine as "the biggest prize" ... After the Soviet empire fell, Ukraine had governments friendly to the West, but in 2010, Viktor Yanukovych, who did not view Russia as an adversary, was elected president ... When Yanukovych balked at an economic offer from the European Union in favor of a deal with Russia, antigovernment demonstrations, encouraged by U.S. officials who wanted regime change, took place in Kiev, and pressure ratcheted up ...
Related Topic: Russia
Obama Plays with Fire in Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 23 Apr 2014
Discusses Obama's decision to send troops to Poland and Baltic states in addition to sanctions on Russia over the 2014 Crimea crisis and the implications of having the continued existence and expansion of the NATO alliance
How many American parents would proudly send their sons and daughters off to kill or be killed in Slovyansk or Donetsk? How many young men and women aspire to be the first American to fall in Kramatorsk? Those towns are in eastern Ukraine ... Obama says the "military option" ... is not on the table in his effort to oppose Russia in the Ukraine crisis, but can we trust him? ... Since Ukraine is not (yet) a member of NATO, the U.S. government would not [be formally obligated] to intervene should a shooting war break out between Ukraine and Russia. But what if something happens between Russia and Poland or one of the Baltic states?
Obama Should Steer Clear of Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Feb 2014
Discusses the situation in Ukraine in early 2014, including pronouncements from Barack Obama and the effects of further potential intervention by Europe, NATO, Russia or the U.S.
What's happening in Ukraine is sad. The country is divided between those who want closer ties to Western Europe and those who want closer ties to Russia. Since becoming independent of Russia, Ukraine has suffered corruption and worse offenses at the hands of legal plunderers. Now demonstrations in the streets—even mob rule featuring neo-Nazis—have resulted in turmoil and death, and the Russia-leaning president, Viktor Yanukovich, has fled the capital, while the parliament has named an interim replacement. To make things worse, outsiders won't keep their hands off.
Related Topics: Europe, Free trade, Barack Obama, Russia
Tear Down the Trade Walls, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Apr 2005
Reflections on free trade sparked by Ukrainian president Yushchenko's remarks to the U.S. Congress asking them to remove trade restrictions that prevent Ukrainians from selling to Americans
"Please tear down this wall," the president said. No, it wasn't President Reagan ... It was the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko, recently addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Yushchenko was asking the senators and representatives to remove the wall that keeps nearly 49 million Ukrainians from freely selling their metals, minerals, electronics, chemicals, and vegetables to Americans ... Most people think Yushchenko was asking a favor in behalf of his people. In truth, ... he wasn't ... He was proposing a mutually beneficial relationship between Americans and Ukrainians.
Related Topic: Free trade

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ukraine" as of 29 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.