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Holli A. Semetko and Natalya Krasnoboka, "The Political Role of the Internet in Societies in Transition: Russia and Ukraine Compared," Party Politics, 9 (January 2003), 77-104.

First Paragraph:
From its beginning, the Internet was thought of as having great potential and likely to improve democracy, empower citizens and enhance public engagement with politics (Mann, 1995; Rheingold, 1993). The experience of the first elections in which the Internet was a part, however, led some researchers to recognize that it could also enhance existing divisions of power in society and create new gaps between the information haves and have-nots (Davis, 1999; Margolis et al., 1997; Selnow, 1998).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Party competition on the Internet: Russia and Ukraine (as of January 2001)
Table 2: Quality of the websites
Figure 1: Political news competition on the Internet in Russia, December 2000-January 2001
Figure 2: Political news competit6ion on the Internet in Ukraine, December 2000-January 2001
Appendix A: Characteristics of political parties/blocks elected to the Russian parliament
Appendix B: Characteristics of political parties/blocks elected to the Ukraine parliament

Last Paragraph:
Whereas journalists in established democracies have considerable freedom to criticize the government of the day, in Russia and Ukraine and many societies in transition, this kind of behaviour can result in a variety of forms of pressure being brought to bear on the individual journalist and/or news organization. In 2001, the Committee on Culture, Science and Education (2001) in the Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) reported numerous cases of violence against journalists and human rights abuses in CoL member countries. Ukraine was mentioned as one of several countries that still has legislation permitting the government to imprison a journalist for voicing his or her opinions. The report singles out the tragic case of online journalist Georgy Gongadze and calls for the government to complete a proper investigation of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and alleged murder. According to Cherribi (in press), in these societies in transition: ~Censorship is not only brought about through violence. Legitimate arms of the state are often used to intimidate journalists and media organizations'. Arms of the state include the tax office, police and fire inspection officials, for example. For those who are opposed to or critical of governing authorities, it is under these most threatening of circumstances that the Internet provides an opportunity for communication and for obtaining information that would not otherwise be found in traditional media outlets.