Disinfo: ODIHR has no criteria of assessment, the West itself has no fair elections


The West's reaction to Russian elections is their finest hour. They have been preparing for years with all their might, a whole campaign against the Russian elections has been launched in the Western media. The West does not have any common criteria for the recognition or non-recognition of elections. The ODIHR in all the years of its existence has not worked out the criteria. Therefore, if there are no common criteria, there is nothing to measure with.

Neither the USA, nor France, nor Germany will tell [Russia] about the "rollbacks" from democracy standards. For example, what happens in the US after the elections of the 20th year with the supporters of the losing side? Imprisonment, dismissal from work, "shutting down" of social networks.


Example of pro-Kremlin whataboutism and disinformation to obscure a relevant debate about the conduct of elections in Russia.

OSCE ODIHR have since years well established criteria to measure the fairness of elections. ODIHR carries out election observation in OSCE participating States to assess the extent to which elections respect fundamental freedoms and are characterised by equality, universality, political pluralism, confidence, transparency and accountability. A long-term, comprehensive, consistent and systematic election observation methodology has become the bedrock of ODIHR’s credibility in this field.

The OSCE was not able to send observers for the 2021 elections to the Duma due to limitations imposed by Russian Federation authorities on the election observation. “We very much regret that our observation of the forthcoming elections in Russia will not be possible,” said ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci. “But the ability to independently determine the number of observers necessary for us to observe effectively and credibly is essential to all international observation. The insistence of the Russian authorities on limiting the number of observers we could send without any clear pandemic-related restrictions has unfortunately made today’s step unavoidable.”

The European Union regrets that "Russia’s decision to severely restrict the size and format of an international OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission prevented its deployment". "The EU takes note of independent and reliable sources reporting serious violations. In the run-up to the elections, there was an increased crackdown on opposition politicians, civil society organisations and independent media outlets, as well as journalists. This resulted in the limitation of the choice for Russian voters and their ability to get full and accurate information about candidates".

The pro-Kremlin media report also contains disinformation about the 2020 US Presidential Election. This is “whataboutism” used to deflect attention from an unpleasant issue. The OSCE international election observation mission for the general elections in the United States in 2020 totalled 102 observers from 39 countries, made up of 50 ODIHR-deployed experts and observers, and 52 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA. The OSCE observation mission concluded that the 3 November 2020 general elections "were competitive and well managed despite the many challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic".

As for the "imprisonment" of the supporters of the losing side in the US, only the storm of Capitol by armed and violent pro-Trump activists on 6 January 2021 led to convictions. It is incomparable to peaceful protesters in Russia. Many complaints by the losing side were submitted and studied by US courts.

In Russia, a candidate tried to submit a complaint about elections fraud. He was beaten by 5 men next to an administrative building, the complaint taken away from him and the access to the building blocked by unknown people. Police patrol refrained from interfering.

See previous disinformation case on ODIHR and Golos association. See all the disinformation cases on Duma election 2021.


  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, US
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, Elections, election meddling, Democracy
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Disinfo: The USSR began liberating Poland from the Nazis on 17 September 1939

On 17 September 1939, the Red Army began its march of liberation through Poland. By reaching the Curzon Line, the Soviet troops prevented the Wehrmacht from entering Minsk.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative distorting the events of the Second World War.

Describing the Soviet incursion into Poland as “liberation” makes it seem that the USSR and the Third Reich had already been sworn enemies in September 1939.

Disinfo: The Three Seas Initiative is a new anti-Russian “sanitary cordon”

The Three Seas Initiative is a revival of the idea of a “sanitary cordon” on the western border of Russia. The USA is not interested in dealing with independent European countries, so today, it tries to create local platforms, even within the European Union. The Three Seas Initiative is presented as a constructive integration platform, but in reality, it is a new anti-Russian union. This organisation revives the 100-year-old idea of creating a so-called buffer zone along the western border of Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about regional organisations in Central and Eastern Europe – this narrative presents organisations such as the Eastern Partnership and the Three Seas Initiative as anti-Russian projects managed by the USA.

The Three Seas Initiative is a forum of 12 countries from Central and Eastern Europe launched in 2015. Its main goal is to promote better connectivity among the Member States, with a particular focus on infrastructure and energy. The main projects discussed at the forums of the Three Seas Initiative are the Via CarpathiaBaltic-Adriatic CorridorVia BalticaRail Baltica, and the LNG infrastructure in Poland and Croatia.

Disinfo: The UK is using the Skripal case again to promote Russophobia

For more than two years, the UK authorities have been using the Salisbury incident to deliberately complicate bilateral relations with Russia. UK leaders continue to use the Skripal case as an instrument of pressure on Russia, promoting anti-Russian sentiments in British society, recreating all this Russophobic concept that is later lowered into the media. They have not returned to that topic for a long time. Maybe it came up again now because this is how the British are preparing for the meeting of their minister with his Russian counterpart. Despite numerous calls from the Russian side and their proposals to hold a responsible dialogue, London continues to reject a concrete discussion and a joint investigation of this incident, which harmed Russian citizens. It is time to tell the truth to the international community.


This is part of a long-term pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign, aiming to deflect any Russian responsibility for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury on 4 March 2018. Accusing of “Russophobia” those who call out Russia’s illicit actions is a frequent pro-Kremlin disinformation technique.

See here the EU statement on the Salisbury attack.