Ukraine’s presidential campaign is unique for the scale of electoral fraud

Summary

The 2019 presidential election in Ukraine is unique for several reasons. First, it takes place amid a civil war. Second, notwithstanding the civil war, the electoral campaign is very competitive. The competition does not concern politicians or their electoral programmes but is centred around a degree of false statements by candidates. There was hardly a case before whereby the Central Electoral Commission’s -system presented data on 50% of processed ballots by 9am the day following the election.

Disproof

Recurring Kremlin's disinformation narrative about a civil war in Ukraine, and on election fraud in Ukraine.

The ODIHR Election Observation Mission's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions does not support allegation about large-scale electoral fraud. The document describes various procedural problems and irregularities however does not report about wide-scale falsifications which could significantly distort the actual voting results. "Election day was assessed positively overall and paves the way to the second round", according to the Statement.

The fact that the first round of elections was held without crucial violations is confirmed by various international organisations. The OSCE PA Election Observation Mission in Ukraine has declared that the first round of the presidential elections in Ukraine was competitive, and citizens had the opportunity to freely express their will.  “We can admit that there were definitely competitive elections and the opportunity to vote for the candidate the citizens wanted to elect was provided”, the OSCE Special Coordinator, OSCE PA Honorary President Ilkka Kanerva said.

Following the first round of the presidential elections in Ukraine, the same position was announced by the Head of the EP election observation delegation Dariusz Rosati. According to him, these elections were definitely competitive, since no candidate could be clearly identified as the likely winner.

The Canadian Election Observation Mission in Ukraine also considers the elections as fair. A press release of the Canadian Mission says that Ukraine’s highly competitive presidential election meets international standards.

 

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 144
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: election meddling, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Elections
  • Outlet: https://sputnik.by/columnists/20190401/1040653202/Ukraina-vybory-prodolzhayutsya.html
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NATO admits the disqualification of millions of voters had a big impact in Ukrainian elections

Approximately 3 million people couldn’t vote in the Donbas region, neither could Ukrainians living and working in Russia since the Ukrainian Embassy didn’t open the planned voting stations. Moscow thinks that 7 to 10 million of Ukrainian citizens didn’t have the chance to participate in the electoral process. “This problem had an enormous influence in yesterday’s elections”, said the president of the observation mission from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Michal Szczerba during a press conference on April 1st.

Disproof

A misrepresentation of a quote by the Head of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly observation mission Michal Szczerba. His exact words were:

"What I observed was a free choice by free people. Ukrainians demonstrated their strong commitment to democratic and Euro-Atlantic values. I saw the enthusiasm of citizens of all ages participating in the election process in impressive numbers. However, I sincerely regret that not all could vote because Russia has illegally annexed Crimea and continues its military aggression in eastern Ukraine”.

No "disqualification" of voters took place in the Donbas, but security conditions didn’t allow the running of normal elections in several areas, despite the efforts of Ukrainian authorities to ensure that even soldiers on the frontline could vote.

You can see other examples of disinformation about Ukrainian elections here and here.

No breakthroughs in Donbas or Crimea if Zelensky wins because it is Washington that decides

There is no big difference for the US regarding who will be Ukraine’s next president because, in any case, American geopolitical interests in Ukraine are strongly protected for the near future. If Volodymyr Zelensky becomes the next President, pressure on the Russian language in Ukraine will likely soften, whereas the powers of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory over Ukrainian history and culture are likely be diminished.

On foreign policy, under Zelensky’s presidency, Ukraine will continue Euro-Atlantic integration. The country’s external debts to IMF and the World Bank will keep growing and relations with Russia will remain confrontational. As for the resolution of the Donbas conflict or Crimea’s status, these issues are decided in Washington rather than in Kyiv. The US is interested in unleashing anti-Russia hysteria in Central Europe and in containing Russia via an escalation in Russia-Ukraine relations.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about discrimination against Russian speakers in Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and alleged control over Ukraine by the US as well as about anti-Russian hysteria in the West.

See an earlier case alleging that the Ukrainian elections are a competition among Washington's puppets.

OSCE wants internet in Belarus be full of terrorists and anarchists

The OSCE representative wants to make a stinking garbage out of the Belarusian segment of internet, and to turn it into a place full of extremists, terrorists and anarchists.

 

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, paid a three-day visit to Belarus. The visit’s aim was to demonstrate how bad the things are with Belarus’ media sphere.  Désir called on Belarusian authorities to reconsider existing measures that tighten state control of the internet. He urged to refrain from mandatory authentication of users posting online and praised the users’ right for anonymity. In other words, the OSCE Representative wants to make a stinking garbage out of the Belarusian segment of internet, and to turn it into a place full of extremists, terrorists and anarchists.

Disproof

No evidence given.

Excessive state control over the internet in Belarus and other media issues were raised by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir in his meetings with the Belarusian authorities with the aim to define the contours of reforms necessary for developing a more favourable and pluralistic media environment.