Disinfo: Russia organised the most democratic referendum in the world as other countries don’t allow so many observers

Summary

More than half a million independent observers could be in the polling stations during the referendum for amendment to the Russian constitution on July 1st. No other country in the world allows such observers. In the context of the Covid-19 epidemics, it demonstrates high professionalism and democratic standards.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative stating that Russia's standards of Democracy are higher than in Western countries.

Many of the foreign observers who oversaw the organisation of the referendum in Moscow and Crimea cannot be called "independent", since many are supporters of the Russian government and diplomacy.

Russian independent observers however faced difficulties in their task bigger than in previous elections. Many irregularities were pointed out but few were addressed by the Central Election Commission. The data also showed issues with both the turnout and the results.

EEAS spokesman Peter Stano declared on July 2: "We are aware of reports and allegations of irregularities during the vote, including voter coercion, double voting, violation of secrecy of the vote, and allegations of police violence against a journalist who was present to observe"

See similar stories: International observers impressed by the elections in Russia or Finnish election observer: Crimea is the most democratic place in the world.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 204
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, France
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia, 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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There is no sexual discrimination in Russia

Russia has never had, nor has, nor will it have anything restrictions of rights based on sexual orientation, race, or religious beliefs. Let the person grow up first, become an adult, then let him decide his own destiny. Nothing should be imposed; that is what we are against.

Disproof

The persecution of sexual minorities in Russia is a critical, ongoing issue which includes violence, employment discrimination and social stigma.

According to the NGO ILGA-Europe, Russia is the fourth-worst European country for LGBT persons to live in.

The USA is planning a coup in Bulgaria in order to subsequently blame Russia

The USA is planning to replace the current Bulgarian government with a more obedient one, which will follow the instructions of the US more closely. The US is behind the release of compromising materials against the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. The objective of the US is to compromise the joint energy projects between Bulgaria and Russia.

Disproof

The article adapts the widespread anti-US narrative of US interference into the domestic affairs of another country or so called colour revolutions.

Massive foreign interference in the voting for the Constitution in Russia: NATO activates its paid agents

NATO’s special operatives have been meddling in the current constitutional referendum in Russia. NATO, together with the Ukrainian special forces from the 16th and 72nd Centers for Information and Psychological Operations at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, use disinformation and propagandistic tactics to disturb the democratic process in the referendum. The NATO and Ukrainian operatives have formed an active programme of disinformation to the Russian population through temporary  one-day disinformation websites, disinformative media and Ukrainian bot-farms. These operatives’ objectives are to persuade Russians to ignore the voting process for amendments to the Russian Constitution. They also spread distorted information about the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia, by presenting inflated numbers and suggesting that voting will kill voters.

Disproof

This is a disinformation narrative about the aggressive West and the so-called "colour revolutions". See a similar case here.

No evidence has been given to prove the involvement of either NATO or the Ukrainian special forces in the recent Russian referendum or with regards to the one day websites, bot disinformation farms etc. Furthermore, there is no substantive evidence in any reports or media of the existence of the 16th and 72nd Ukrainian Centers for Information and Psychological Operations.