Other ratings agencies also have cited low oil prices, the conflict in Ukraine, and the weakened ruble as reasons for their downgrades and negative economic outlooks.
However, the parties to the conflict have made little progress towards fulfilling the Minsk II accords" aimed at achieving a lasting peace, he said.
Fitch predicted that "a renewed upsurge in violence would probably trigger a tightening of sanctions" by the West, throwing Russia's economy even further into recession.
The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press.
“Alongside ever-present oil price risks, a worsening in geopolitical tensions remains the biggest risk to the stabilization of the Russian economy," said Fitch Managing Director Tony Stringer."An imperfect cease-fire between separatists and the Ukrainian army brokered in February has prevented an escalation in violence in eastern Ukraine.