Disinfo: For the West, Russian elections will always be "bad"


A critical stance of the democratic processes in Russia is part of the West's long-term policy. In fact, this is a consistent and recurring policy; whatever happens in the Russian elections, they will always be "bad", and whatever happens in the elections in Ukraine, Moldova, or the Baltic states, they will always be "good" if they achieve the desired (Western) result.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's double standards when dealing with Russia versus Ukraine and the Baltic States, where, according to the narrative, the West turns a blind eye to violations of human rights and democratic principles that occur there.

However, the differences in the integrity of the electoral processes between Russia on the one hand, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic states on the other is more than just imagined. In the 2020 Democracy Index, Russia scored a low of 2.17 out of 10 in the "electoral process and pluralism" indicator. On the other hand, Ukraine scored 8.25 and Moldova 7, while the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all scored 9.58.

Additionally, Russia has been widely accused of having little political plurality. One of the most valuable weapons in the Kremlin's arsenal is its power to control who can run in elections - and indirectly guide their campaign. Moscow “has tried to create the semblance of competition”, says The Times, allowing other candidates to take part, whilst the more vocal anti-Putin voices are quickly pushed out of the race.

In 2015, politician Boris Nemtsov, a prominent critic of Putin’s government, was assassinated in Moscow and another anti-corruption campaigner and Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, has been barred from running for the presidency. Navalny was convicted of embezzlement in a Russian court, meaning he couldn't run for election, although he denied the charges and said they were politically motivated before he suffered an attempted assignation attempt in August 2020.


  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/08/2021
  • Article language(s) Arabic, English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Baltic states, Ukraine, Moldova
  • Keywords: Elections, West, Baltic states
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Disinfo: Eastern Partnership is a leash to control participating countries

The European Union will not destroy the Eastern Partnership, because this partnership represents for the EU an anti-Russian format and a leash that it throws around the neck of Eastern European countries, thus controlling them.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU's Eastern Partnership, presenting it as an anti-Russian structure.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative, based on voluntary participation, which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as it is mentioned on the official website. It was released on May 7, 2009, by the Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit. There is no mention of Russia in the policy's stated goals. On 26 June 2021, Belarus took a voluntary decision suspending its participation in the EaP, after the EU imposed sanctions on Lukashenka's government for the presure on its own polulation, human rights violations and for the forcing down of the Ryanair airplane with Roman Pratasevich. See an overview of EU's policy towards Belarus here.

Disinfo: Georgia’s military adventure was encouraged by Western partners in 2008

Russia advocates the continuation of consultations in Geneva between Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia to reach "a legal formula for their mutual obligations regarding the non-use of force and the resolution of other urgent issues."

This should be a reliable guarantee that Georgia does not repeat military adventures, which were directly or indirectly encouraged by some Western partners in 2008.

The criminal acts committed by the regime of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, such as the bombing of sleeping Tskhinvali, should not be repeated.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative trying to deny any role for Russia in the Russo-Georgian war, portraying it as a peacemaker and blaming Georgia and its political leadership, as well as, the West for the war which resulted in the further occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by additional military forces from Russia timed around the 13th anniversary of the conflict.

Georgia is a sovereign country attacked by Russia in 2008. Many international organisations condemned the further occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the CSCE statement here, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia here and the European Parliament's declaration.

Disinfo: The “Original Douma Report” doesn't indicate a chemical attack in Syria

The politicisation that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is suffering from has kept it far from the technical nature of its work and made it lose a large part of its credibility. Instead of being a faithful guardian of the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it has turned into a tool in the hands of some countries to target a member country of the Convention.

The original report of the investigation into the "Douma incident" confirms that no evidence was found indicating a chemical attack there and that attempts to discredit it will not succeed in restoring the credibility of the fact-finding mission's reports.


Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; aiming to discredit the OPCW. The article also attacks the OPCW's independence and integrity; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma chemical attack didn’t happen.

The OPCW's supposed “original report”, trying to paint an image of suppressing the truth about the Douma incident, is a standard talking point in reporting on Syria. See e.g. here, here, here, and here for our previous debunking of this narrative.