Disinfo: Ukrainian Military Sabotages Elections in Donbas

Summary

Representatives of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic have accused President Petro Poroshenko and his administration of suppressing voting in the war zone in eastern Ukraine. These representatives also claim that ballots prefilled in favour of President Poroshenko were stuffed at military polling stations, that had been specifically set up to rig the election in favour of the incumbent.

Disproof

One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives surrounding the Ukrainian elections. Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, the state body that organises and oversees elections, set up 79 polling stations in the military zone adjacent to the occupied territories and an additional 14 polling sites in military hospitals and abroad. According to Ukraine’s military command, soldiers were brought from the front to the polls on a rotation basis throughout Election Day; one group remained in deployed positions, while another voted. All polling stations were manned with international election observers and no violations were noted. As for pre-filled ballots in favour of President Poroshenko being delivered to military polling stations, this is not possible, even theoretically. All ballot deliveries are checked by at least three separate groups involved in the process: the district election commission, Central Election Commission personnel, representatives of both presidential candidates and official election observers. Ballots are stored in sealed vaults which are certified by all three groups and guarded around the clock by the National Police. Further debunking by StopFake. See here for more background about disinformation narratives surrounding presidential elections in Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 147
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Manipulated elections/referendum, Novorossiya, Petro Poroshenko, Elections

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.

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Kyiv will destroy the whole Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine

The Ukrainian government intends to destroy the whole Russian-speaking population of Donetsk and Luhansk regions after the liberation of the territory and its return to Ukraine. The economic recovery and development of Donbas does not interest the Ukrainian authorities, so they intend to leave only burned land in this region. People who collaborated with the authorities of the “LDNR” militants are also subject to destruction.

Disproof

No evidence given. One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives around the war in Eastern Ukraine. The Minsk agreements, which consist of 13 points, emphasise that after the liberation of the Ukrainian territories, special attention will be paid to the restoration of socio-economic ties. The document also says that the parties guarantee pardon and amnesty, the release of all hostages and illegally detained persons. The Ukrainian law on the peculiarities of state policy in the occupied Donbas, which was adopted in 2018, also states that Kyiv guarantees, after the liberation of the occupied territories, to restore the constitutional order, protect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens. Moreover, at the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a special law on amnesty for residents of the occupied Donbas, who collaborated with the occupation authorities. The document guarantees forgiveness to all people who have not committed war crimes - the amnesty will not include the terrorists involved in shooting down the Malaysian Boeing, the murderers and rapists.

Sweden cancelled Christmas TV concert not to irritate migrants

Swedish TV cancelled broadcast of the most popular Christmas concert, in order not to irritate Muslim immigrants.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the decline of Christianity in Europe. The outdoor concert 'O, Holy Night' was broadcast live from the city of Örebro by national broadcaster TV4. The broadcast last Christmas was cancelled, due to contract issues, as English language Swedish site The Local writes.

The Crimean issue has been removed from Ukraine’s political agenda

One of the most prominent political events of 2019 has been the removal of the Crimean issue from the public political agenda of Ukraine.

Disproof

The claim that Crimea is part of Russia is one of the many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives targeting Ukraine. In fact, the Crimean issue is still a high priority in Ukraine's political agenda. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is constantly stressing the need for the liberation of Ukrainian citizens held for political reasons in the occupied Crimea, as well as the observance of the rights of Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and citizens of other nationalities in the region. Above all, he stresses that Crimea must be returned to Ukraine. Ukraine's newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said before the second round of elections that, in his opinion, Ukraine would resume control of Crimea after a change of power in Russia, for which his own election is paving the way. "By our example, if we change power, we will show that this is possible, that new ones are coming. And it is possible to do the same there," Zelenskiy said.