Disinfo: Russia repelled Western attack on referendum

Summary

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”.

Disproof

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections, The West

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

Ukraine is a collapsing, degrading state with no sovereignty and rule of law

A process of self-destruction is taking place in Ukraine. No one else has started this process. Chaos, the coup that took place in 2014, was controlled from the outside. But today Western curators abandoned Ukraine and what is left is starting to eat itself.

There is no statehood, sovereignty, or the rule of law. Gangs feel free in Ukraine. We are witnessing the disintegration of the state and they are already talking about this. Killings and suppression of dissent are entrusted to those who were created as units ready for military action. They beat the elderly and don’t allow people to celebrate Victory Day.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's disintegration and imminent collapse, consistent with narratives that Ukraine is under external control since the 2013-14 Euromaidan revolution.

Ukraine has a functioning government and economy, it is a member of many international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and a party to international agreements. Ukraine has bilateral diplomatic relations with the majority of states. It has functioning law enforcement and court systems.

EU sanctions on Syria unlawful and bypass the UN 

May 28, the European Union decided to extend its unlawful unilateral sanctions against Syria bypassing the UN Security Council…. Sanctions are supposedly aimed at protecting the civilian population in Syria, but in reality, they are crippling the Syrian economy and hit ordinary Syrians.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative trying to change the nature of sanctions implemented on Syria

EU sanctions on Syria are targeted at individuals and entities who ordered or carried out attacks and torture against their own people, made or used chemical weapons, built their personal fortune thanks to the war. EU sanctions are designed in a way that only targets these people and these activities, avoiding any negative impact on the population. See our video here for more details.

The Ukrainian regime is a junta led by war criminals

The majority of Ukrainians want to live in a country where Vladimir Putin is the president. So, this is not about them, it is about the junta of war criminals and foreign agents that were put in power by foreign secret services in Ukraine. This is a regime that occupied the country.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that the Euromaidan protests were organised by foreign forces.

It was not Western foreign agents, but Russia that triggered the military conflict after the Euromaidan in Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign state. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, except for Russia, which annexed Crimea via an internationally unrecognised referendum.