Disinfo: Russia has not interfered in British elections nor in the elections of any country


Russia has not interfered in British elections nor in the elections of any country. Russia rejects any allegation of involvement in election interference in the UK and in any country.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to depict accusations of Russian meddling in Western democratic processes as factually unfounded and driven by "Russophobia". The article repeats the disinformation message often spread by pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that Russia never tried to influence British electoral processes, such as the 2016 Brexit referendum or the British 2017 and 2019 elections.

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

A UK Parliamentary inquiry and serious academic studies have found evidence about Russian state efforts to affect the outcome of the 2016 Brexit vote. One study showed that fake Russian Twitter accounts published at least 45,000 messages about Brexit in the 48 hours before the vote, most of them calling on British voters to reject the European Union.

Moreover, according to data released by Twitter, Russian trolls sent thousands of messages with the hashtag #ReasonsToLeaveEU on the day of the Brexit referendum. According to another research report, between 1 January 2016 and 23 June 2016 Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik published 261 media articles on the EU Referendum with an anti-EU sentiment. This report also showed that RT and Sputnik had more reach on Twitter for anti-EU content than either Vote Leave or Leave.EU, during the Referendum campaign.

There is also evidence that Russia tried to influence the 2019 British general elections by amplifying illicitly acquired sensitive and leaked documents about a planned UK-US free trade agreement.

A long-awaited UK Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee report into alleged Russian interference was published in July 2020 and can be read here.

Further background on Russian interference in various electoral processes in Europe read here.

Read our article on Russian election meddling in EU countries and in the US here. For more information on Russia's interference in Western democratic processes, see the EUvsDisinfo Elections page.

Read here similar cases claiming that there is no evidence of Russian meddling in the French and US elections and that Twitter did not find evidence of Russian efforts to influence Brexit.


  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Russia Today (RT), Brexit, Cyber, Trolls, Sputnik


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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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimea has never really belonged to Ukraine and will never return to Ukraine.

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