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.

see more

Since 2014 any financial claims of Kyiv on Crimea are legally void

Back in the spring of 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law “On the termination of Agreements Related to the Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in Ukraine.” Since then, any financial claims of Kyiv on Crimea are legally void.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Crimea was illegally annexed by Moscow based on an illegitimate referendum. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 9 December 2019, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine threatens Russia with war

Ukraine threatens Russia with war. Kyiv threatens Russia with its Neptune missile system and may strike Sevastopol.

Disproof

The Ukrainian authorities did not threaten Russia with war.

Russian media distorted the statement of the commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Oleksiy Neizhpapa, that the Ukrainian military is strengthening its defensive positions in sea cities. The Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine does not exclude the possibility that Russian troops will try to break out of the occupied Crimea and into another Ukrainian region, neighbouring Kherson. That is why Ukraine continues to strengthen its position in the area of ​​the occupied peninsula - both from the sea and on land.

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.