Disinfo: Ukrainians voted at gunpoint and accompanied by special forces


Ukrainians voted in Presidential elections at gunpoint and accompanied by special forces. The Ukrainian government brought armoured vehicles and armed security officials to the streets in order to morally influence Ukrainians during the elections. Ukrainians themselves regarded this as an attempt to intimidate disloyal citizens and to demonstrate the readiness of the regime of Petro Poroshenko to intervene in the elections with force.


On the eve of the elections in Ukraine, the units of law enforcement were transferred to increased combat readiness, with the aim to ensure the safety of voters. It was announced long before the beginning of the elections. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, on March 31, more than 135,000 police officers ensured the safety of the electoral process. Two policing officers and one rescuer were on duty near each polling station. In the event of any offences in a polling station itself, only the Election Commission itself can take the decision to involve the police.

The preliminary assessment of the freedom and accountability of the elections by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is positive.

This case is part of wider efforts of pro-Kremlin outlets to discredit Ukrainian elections. For more information see EUvsDisinfo coverage here and here.


  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Petro Poroshenko, Elections


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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