Freedom From Political Killings in Ukraine

Nov. 4, 2019 Weekly Graphs

Kateryna Gandziuk, a Ukrainian activist and anti-corruption campaigner died on 4 November 2018 from injuries she sustained in a sulfuric acid attack a few months earlier. Her death, just one in the series of murders of activists in 2018, became the symbol of a widespread protest movement pressing for investigations into attacks on activists. This week, we use the V-Dem variable graph to highlight freedom from political killings in Ukraine as compared to the rest of East-Central Europe.

Political killings are defined as killings by the state or its agents without due process of law for the purpose of eliminating political opponents. During the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, freedom from  political killings in Ukraine was the lowest since the restoration of its independence 1991. Despite minor improvements in the recent years, this indicator remains significantly lower than the average freedom from political killings in East-Central Europe. 

To learn more about V-Dem’s indicators and graphing tools, visit

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