Disinfo: Apple and Google recognized the illegality of meddling in Russian elections


Non-systemic opposition uses recommendation lists to influence the Russian election from abroad. Illegality of such meddling was recognized even by the American IT giants Apple and Google, which removed respective applications from their app stores.

Many Russian"friends" were trying to cultivate a public opinion discrediting the legitimacy of the Russian election. But they failed.


Disinformation which appeared in the context of Russian State Duma elections 2021.

Ahead of the State Duma election on 17-19 September, 2021, Google and Apple did indeed remove a smartphone application from their app stores, which indicates to voters what candidates are likely to defeat those backed by Russian authorities. This voting strategy, 'Smart voting', was developed by the imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

However the claim, that by doing so Apple and Google recognized the illegality of the app, or that the app constitutes foreign meddling, is false. Neither of the companies have commented their decision, however according to media reports both Apple and Google came under pressure from the Russian officials.

According to the Associated Press, Google was forced to remove the app because it faced legal demands by regulators and threats of criminal prosecution in Russia [...].

The EU took note of serious violations in the elections, reported by independent and reliable sources and expressed deep concern over the continuous pattern of shrinking space for the opposition, civil society and independent voices across Russia.

See related examples of disinformation claims alleging that US and UK intervened in Duma elections; US failed to discredit Russian electoral system; The West is preparing a propaganda-attack against Russia after the Duma election.


  • Reported in: Issue 260
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Google, Alexei Navalny, Elections, election meddling
see more

Disinfo: Ukraine unwilling to implement Minsk deals, Donbas conflict is internal

Ukraine does not want to implement the Minsk agreements. Attempts are made to portray Ukraine and Russia as parties to the Donbas conflict, while it is in reality an internal conflict. It is possible to solve it only if Ukrainians on both sides start talking to each other.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Minsk Agreements, presenting Ukraine as a sole obstacle for peace.

Ukraine has announced a truce several times since the war broke out in Donbas in 2014, and the illegal DNR and LNR pseudo-republics have been continually violating it. On top of that, separatists often use the civilian population as a human shield by shelling Ukrainian positions from residential areas to accuse Ukrainian troops of possible civilian victims when they strike back.

Disinfo: Russian speakers are barred from running in Estonian elections

In Estonia, most of Russian-speaking inhabitants may vote according to the laws, however they cannot run in the elections and occupy state-positions.

The Baltic politicians insist that everything that is Russian is a threat. And every time when the Russian-speakers in the Baltic States try to defend their rights, the authorities respond in spirit "your rights are not breached, because you don't have any".


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged Russophobia in the Baltic States.

According to Estonian Riigikogu Election Act, article 4:

Disinfo: In Japan, Crimea was called historically Russian territory

In Japan, Crimea was called historically Russian territory.

The international community's non-recognition of the peninsula as Russian is erroneous since it has never historically belonged to Ukraine. This foolish Khrushchev, who managed to usurp power in the USSR after Stalin by cunning, was himself a Ukrainian, and therefore gave Crimea to Ukraine, although the overwhelming majority of the population on the peninsula was Russian and spoke Russian. Historically, Crimea has always been Russian. So everything just returned to its original historical state.

Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum held there in March 2014, in which 96.77% of the voters of the peninsula and 95.6% of Sevastopol residents voted for joining Russia. The Crimeans democratically, in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter, voted for reunification with Russia. Crimea issue is "definitely closed."


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The disinformation message refers to anonymous comments online, on Yahoo News Japan presenting it as if Japan recognises Crimea as Russian territory.