Disinfo: Russian-speaking citizens will be used to discredit the State Duma elections


Russia's opponents will try to use protests abroad to discredit the parliamentary elections in Russia.

The diasporas of Russian compatriots in other countries can also be influenced. Interference in elections in other countries is possible through influence on the diaspora.

We know situations in different countries when our foreign opponents, using their influence on the diasporas, practically interfered in elections in their historical homelands. People who live in a big strong NATO country, they are willingly or unwillingly guided by the authorities of this country, and the authorities give the command to go to elections and vote.

It is also possible that Russian-speaking citizens will be used abroad to organise so-called "global protests rallies”.


This disinformation message advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about elections and "encircled Russia". No evidence is provided to support the allegations.

The Russian elections are not considered free and honest. A lot of opposition candidates have been barred from participating in them. The European Union has expressed its concern about the situation in Russia ahead of the parliamentary elections held on 17-19 September 2021.

There are legitimate concerns about the nature of the 2021 parliamentary election in Russia. For example, for the first time since 1993 the OSCE did not send election observers to Russia, as the Russian authorities had put last-minute limits on the number of observers so low that it would not allow the OSCE to work in an effective and thorough manner (down from OSCE-planned 500 to Russia-allowed 60).

According to Amnesty International, ahead of the elections the Russian authorities were both stepping up repression against their critics and using ever more direct ways of eliminating their political opponents. In previous elections, the main tools for eliminating unwanted candidates were refusals to register them or their disqualification for minor or imaginary infringements of the electoral process. This time, the authorities were applying a much more heavy-handed and sinister approach.

More and more media outlets in Russia are being arbitrarily declared 'foreign agents', essentially restricting freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Attempts to censor the content on the Internet are also increasing with ever more court cases against platform operators; examples here, here and here.

Additionally, Russia has been widely accused of having little political plurality. One of the most valuable weapons in the Kremlin's arsenal is its power to control who can run in elections - and indirectly guide their campaign. Moscow “has tried to create the semblance of competition”, says The Times, allowing other candidates to take part, whilst the more vocal anti-Putin voices are quickly pushed out of the race.

One of the main critics of the Kremlin, Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has survived an assassination attempt and is now imprisoned on politically-motivated charges. The Russia’s authorities have outlawed his anti-corruption movement.

Read more disinformation narratives alleging that the West is interfering in Russian elections.


  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: West, Elections, election meddling, NATO
see more

Disinfo: Ukrainian authorities constantly oppress and infringe Russian-speaking people

The wild desire to become European among Ukrainian officials took the form of paranoia. It is obvious that Ukrainian citizens will not voluntarily switch to the Latin alphabet. The idea of switching to the Latin alphabet is directed primarily against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine, whom the country's authorities constantly oppress and infringe upon.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives alleging that Ukraine discriminates against Russians living on its territory, that it is a Russophobic, anti-Russian country.

There is no discrimination against Russian language or Russian culture in Ukraine.

Disinfo: Crimea became Russian after the 2014 coup

The events of March 2014 resulted in the entry of Ukrainian Crimea under Russian sovereignty based on the results of a popular referendum held there after the coup that overthrew the rule of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv painted as a coup d'état while claiming that the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula came as a response to those protests.

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former president Viktor Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

Disinfo: Glorification of Nazism in Ukraine is taken to the next level

Glorification of Nazism in all its forms has long been a "normal" trend in Ukrainian national politics. This logically follows from the main ideological doctrine of the Ukrainian state which regards the Russian Federation as absolute evil and therefore a sworn enemy.

The logic of political "Ukrainity" fits into a dubious formula, both morally and logically, of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". More concretely it means: "The Hitler Nazis were enemies of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation and the successor of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is an enemy of Ukraine. Therefore, the Hitler Nazis are friends of Ukraine. "


A recurring narrative about Nazi Ukraine. The idea is that Ukraine became Nazi because it is against Russia.

The myth of Nazi-ruled Ukraine has become a cornerstone in the pro-Kremlin disinformation and appeared during the Euromaidan protests in late 2013 - early 2014, when the then-president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled and later fled to Russia. The Kremlin has been using this myth actively since then to discredit Kyiv’s shift towards Euro-Atlantic policy.