DISINFO: Russia repelled Western attack on referendum
Foreign centres tried to disrupt the Russian voting for amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, using the media, cyber-attacks and paid “activists”.
One of the disinformation narratives about the voting on the amendments to the Russian Constitution and a narrative that portrays the West as an aggressor. There was no evidence of Western interference in Russia's voting. On the contrary, different analysts claimed that Russia's Constitutional Vote came with "loaded dice" that undermined the rule of law and disputed the accuracy of the official vote tallies. For example, the independent election watchdog Golos has reported widespread instances of forcing state employees to vote, carousel voting, ballot-box stuffing, a lack of secret voting, and obstruction and non-registration of independent vote observers. On July 2, the European Union urged Moscow to investigate all allegations of election wrongdoing and issued a reminder about Russia’s international treaty responsibilities. “We expect Russia, regardless of any amendments to its constitution, to live up to its international obligations, including its obligation to execute European Court of Human Rights judgements,” wrote EU spokesman Peter Stano. According to the independent observers, their observations were that such large-scale fraud, as during the voting on constitutional amendments, has not been seen since 2011. In just six days of voting on constitutional amendments, the movement for voter rights "Golos" received 682 messages with signs of violations. Activists identified several types of violations: abuse of authority and illegal activities of election commissions, coercion to vote, illegal campaigning by election commissions, state bodies and officials, multiple voting, ballot-box stuffing and violation of voting secrecy.