Disinfo: Ballot boxes were not locked at the Bundestag election


A ballot box in Germany, the richest country in Europe.

No, this is not a printer or an air conditioning box. This is a ballot box for elections in Germany. Can our KOIB systems and modern ballot boxes compete with this element of democratic elections?

The Bundestag election in Berlin in one picture. Sealing is avoided almost everywhere.


Disinformation about the German elections for the Bundestag which took place on 26 September 2021.

A picture of a cardboard box with the sign "Bundestag. Throw in here" (location and further details of the picture are unknown) circulating on Russian and German social media suggests that it is a ballot box and that many ballot boxes were not locked during the voting.

This is a false claim. According to § 51 of the German Federal election regulations: "The ballot box must be provided with a lid. (...) It must be lockable", reminds Deutsche Welle.

Thus, a user posted a photo of a broken election seal on Twitter mentioning "election fraud". According to the tweet, the allegation relates to a polling station in the city of Preussisch Oldendorf in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

When asked by DW, Mayor Marko Steiner confirmed that the team at the polling station had been made aware of a broken seal and had investigated it. The result: It was an old seal from a previous election that had not been removed "for whatever reason," said Steiner. "According to the ordinance, the ballot box must be locked. In our case, that is usually with a lock." The electoral board had once again confirmed to the city that it had checked the ballot box before the start of the election, Steiner added. It was empty, after which it was locked with the lock. According to the mayor, the electoral board kept the key until the polling stations were closed. In this case, too, there can be no question of electoral fraud, states DW.

All other claims of the German election fraud were also investigated and rejected so far, see fact-check by DW.


  • Reported in: Issue 260
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian, French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany
  • Keywords: Elections
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.