Disinfo: US and UK intervened in Duma elections

Summary

Western media outlets, especially from the United States and the United Kingdom, have intervened in the State Duma elections by spreading fake news against their integrity.

Disproof

This case is part of a developing disinformation narrative promoted by pro-Kremlin media outlets in response to the 2021 Russian legislative (Duma) elections which took place on 17th-19th September 2021.

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

See here the EU declaration following the Duma elections.

According to Amnesty International, ahead of the elections the Russian authorities are 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 are 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.

Read similar cases in our database that claims that the West wants to influence elections in Russia and supports anti-State powers; or that the West trying to interfere in Russia’s legislative elections; or that for the West, Russian elections will always be "bad"; or that foreign election monitors did not notice a big difference between the elections in the EU and in Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Greek
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Anti-Russian, Elections, Destabilising Russia
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Disinfo: Sanctions are beneficial to Russia so the West should recognise Crimea as Russian

Instead of making gratuitous statements about the so-called "annexation" of Crimea, the French authorities would do better to recognise it as an integral part of Russia.

Russia has benefited from Western sanctions imposed on it after the peninsula was attached. Sanctions are not beneficial to the West. Sanctions are beneficial to Russia.

Crimea, offered to Ukraine within the USSR by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, was reattached to Russia following the referendum held in March 2014, following the coup d'état in Ukraine in February of the same year. Kyiv continues to regard Crimea as Ukrainian territory.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea and sanctions against Russia.

The impact of sanctions needs to be evaluated in the long run. However, primarily assessments show a significant and negative impact on the Russian economy.

Disinfo: There is democracy in Russia, since there are a lot of participants in the Duma elections

There is democracy in Russia, since there are a lot of participants in the Russian parliamentary elections.

Disproof

A large number of candidates does not guarantee that the whole electoral process meets the high standard of democracy. Many candidates were denied the right to register.

The OSCE was unable to observe and evaluate the electoral parliamentary elections of 17-19 September 2021 due to major limitations imposed by Russian Authorities.

Disinfo: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits the US which asked him to split the Orthodox world

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is paying a visit to the United States. This should come as no surprise as it was the United States and the West which forced him to grant autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, thus splitting the Orthodox World.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets frequently attack the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian church. The Constantinople Patriarchy, not the US, decided to grant the autocephaly to the Ukrainian church. The final decision was made in January 2019, when all members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed off the Tomos of autocephaly. The signing of the Tomos happened after months of careful preparation and consideration by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod.

For more information and analysis on pro-Kremlin disinformation against the Church of Ukraine see here.