Disinfo: Moscow has not intervened in the European Union or other countries

Summary

Moscow has not intervened and will not interfere in elections and other internal political processes in the European Union. There is no evidence that Russia has interfered in the the electoral processes of other countries.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative denying Moscow's interference in Western democratic processes.

The independent research, media investigations and parliamentary inquiries point out to evidence linking Russian state actors with interference in various electoral processes, including the Brexit vote, in the 2017 French Presidential elections, in the 2017 German Parliamentary elections, in the 2016 constitutional referendum in Italy and in the Dutch referendum on the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine.

Russian state efforts to affect the outcome of the Brexit vote are well-documented in parliamentary inquiries, think-tank reports and news reports.

For instance, Russian interference in the French elections included attacks aimed at discrediting the then-presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Apart from biased reporting in the pro-Kremlin media, it included a made-up story about Macron's offshore accounts (the so-called MacronGate) and a hack-and-leak operation. According to the Insider and Mediapart, the hacking was perpetrated by the same GRU unit responsible for the hacking of the Democrats' servers in the US. For more information, see EU vs Disinfo analysis “Tackling disinformation à la française".

Before the September 2017 German Parliamentary elections, the German editions of RT and Sputnik especially published vast numbers of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee stories that attacked Merkel and simultaneously promoted the far-right. Pro-Kremlin bots amplified these stories on social networks. In ItalyRT broadcast misleading news from Rome when the Italians were about to go to the polls and vote about constitutional reform. In the NetherlandsRussia-linked trolls tried to influence the Dutch referendum on the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine with a fake video containing a terror threat against the Dutch.

For further background on Russian interference in various electoral processes in Europe see this article. Read our article on Russian election meddling in EU countries and in the US here. Read here similar cases claiming that there is no evidence of Russian meddling in the French and US elections and that there is no solid evidence to support the claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Poland
  • Keywords: election meddling, Cyber, Manipulated elections/referendum

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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