Belarus/>/> slipped three places to 154th in an annual 173-nation index of press freedom around the world that was released by Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday.
The country ranked 151st in 2006 and 2007. Russia/> was 141st and
Ukraine/>/> 87th this year.
Iceland/> topped the list while the
US/>/> was 36th. North Korea/>, Turkmenistan/> and
Eritrea/>/> were the lowest-ranked nations.
The Paris-based press freedom group described those three countries as "unchanging hells" in which the population is cut off from the world and is subjected to "propaganda worthy of a bygone age"
Some of the newer democracies, including Estonia/>, Latvia/> and
Slovakia/>/>, featured in the top 10.
Georgia/> slipped 54 places to 120th in the survey after Russia/> invaded the country in August, blocking journalists from entering the breakaway regions of
South Ossetia/> and Abkhazia under its control.