DISINFO: The West falsely accuses Russia of election meddling
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in the wake of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the successful referendum on Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014. The West has repeatedly accused Moscow of meddling in other nations’ political processes, inducing the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit vote, without providing sufficient proof. Russia continues to deny all such allegations.
This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to paint Russian military aggression against Ukraine as a domestic civil conflict; Moscow's illegal annexation of Crimea as a "re-unification" preceded by a legitimate democratic "referendum"; and accusations of Russian meddling in Western democratic processes as factually unfounded and driven by "Russophobia". No international body has recognised the so-called Crimea referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014. Thirteen members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favour of a resolution declaring the referendum invalid. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea. On the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the landgrab and continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Moreover, the international community, including the European Union, recognises and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. Extensive evidence confirms that Russia did meddle in the 2016 US presidential elections, specifically aiming to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign and aid Republican candidate Donald Trump. Some assessments suggest this interference affected the outcome of the vote, particularly in three critical swing states where Trump's victory margins were the thinnest. Likewise, Russian state efforts to affect the outcome of the Brexit vote are well-documented, both in news reports and parliamentary enquiries (see especially pp. 43-52). Fore more information on Russia's interference in Western democratic processes, see the EUvsDisinfo Elections page.