Documents

EPDE Publication

The Rise and Fall of a Polish Agent of the Kremlin Influence: The Case of Janusz Niedźwiecki

EPDE

Evidence collected by EPDE through the years demonstrates that invitations to participate in politically biased international election observation missions are used by authoritarian regimes or illiberal actors as an entry door to recruit allies in key institutions. Our latest report discusses the case of a Polish political individual, Janusz Niedźwiecki, to provide a detailed account of how participation in 'fake observation' leads to engagement in even more malicious activities. Report available in 1. English and 2. Polish.

 

EPDE Publication

Bogus International Monitors for the Bogus Russian Parliamentary Elections

EPDE
Source: politexpert.net – Evgeniy Zaytsev.

With the gradual systemic decline of the democratic character of Russian presidential, parliamentary, and other elections, Vladimir Putin’s regime found it increasingly difficult to secure their international legitimacy. In an attempt to give the impression of international legitimation of the parliamentary elections, Russian authorities reportedly brought in 383 “international observers” and “experts” from 80 countries.

 

EPDE Publication

Controversial 'International Observation' of the 'All-Russian Voting' on Amendments to the Constitution in Russia and Russia-Annexed Crimea

EPDE
Source: Twitter account Lechanteux

The “all-Russian voting” on President Putin’s proposed constitutional amendments, which would allow him to stay in power until 2036, was held between 25 June and 1 Jul 2020. Since the “all-Russian voting” lacked legal provisions and a constitutional status, a new legal framework was created, which, among others, did not foresee any international monitoring. However, “international experts” were invited to effectively endorse the “all-Russian voting”.

 

EPDE Publication

European politicians to legitimize constitutional changes in Russia

EPDE

Kremlin-friendly foreign politicians, journalists, lobbyists and activists have once again been invited to praise the disputed “all-Russian voting” on the constitutional amendments proposed by President Putin. The main motivation behind inviting foreign politically biased observers to the “voting”, which has no basis in Russian legislation, is to provide a semblance of international legitimacy to constitutional amendments that have already been approved by the Russian parliament.

 

EPDE Publication

Problematic International Observation of the Azerbaijani 2020 Parliamentary Elections

EPDE

In this latest EPDE report, Anton Shekhovtsov investigates how politically biased international election observers were used by Azerbaijani authorities to relativize critical findings of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) to the early parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.

 

EPDE Publication

Fake election observation as Russia's tool of election interference: The Case of AFRIC

EPDE

In this report, Anton Shekhovtsov analyzes how the structures of "Putin's Chef" Yevgeniy Prigozhin interfere in electoral processes in African countries with the help of fake election observation. This report focuses on the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC), an organization that Shekhovtsov has previously investigated and found to be involved in politically biased election observation and pro-Kremlin efforts, and is linked to Prigozhin. 

 

EPDE Publication

Foreign Observation of the Illegitimate Elections in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2019

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he analyzes how the presence of “foreign observers” during the “parliamentary elections” in the so-called “Republic of South Ossetia” and of the “presidential elections” in the so-called “Republic of Abkhazia” in 2019 was underpinned not by the actual need to observe the “elections”, but rather by the intent to mimic legitimate international election monitoring in order to create an impression that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were legitimate independent states. 

 

EPDE Publication

Controversial "International Observation" at the 2019 Regional elections in Russia

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he analyzes how Russian officials invited "international experts" with known involvement in various pro-Kremlin efforts to observe the regional elections in Moscow and how they were used by officials, pro-regime media and organizations to legitimize the electoral process and neutralize the negative effect of refusing to register independent opposition candidates for the elections to the Moscow City Duma.

 

EPDE Publication

Russian Interference, and Where to Find It - Anton Shekhovtsov (German version)

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he identifies different factors that influence the occurrence of Russian interference in international elections. This article discusses elections in France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Sweden that took place in 2017-2018, and shows how different combinations of these factors produced different outcomes in terms of Russian meddling.

 

EPDE Publication

Russian Interference, and Where to Find It - Anton Shekhovtsov

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he identifies different factors that influence the occurrence of Russian interference in international elections. This article discusses elections in France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Sweden that took place in 2017-2018, and shows how different combinations of these factors produced different outcomes in terms of Russian meddling.

 

EPDE Publication

Politically Biased Election Observation – A Threat to the Integrity of International Institutions

EPDE

The booklet "Politically biased election observation—a threat to the integrity of international institutions" contains EPDE reports by Anton Shekhovtsov on politically biased election observation missions to the presidential election and the regional elections in Russia, the illegitimate presidential election in Crimea, the elections in Cambodia and Zimbabwe and the illegitimate “general elections” in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which all took place in 2018.

 

Parliamentary Elections

The Globalisation of Pro-Kremlin Networks of Politically Biased Election Observation

EPDE
Cambodia and Zimbabwe

In Cambodia, parliamentary elections were held on 29 July 2018, in Zimbabwe on 30 July 2018. The “senior delegation of the international observers” (in the Cambodian case) and the AFRIC’s observation mission (in the Zimbabwean case) offered positive – and sometimes clearly politically charged – assessments of the elections in both countries, and their statements were widely disseminated by the state-controlled media to give an impression of overwhelming Western satisfaction with the conduct of the elections.

 

Donetsk and Lugansk Elections

Foreign Observation of the Illegitimate General Elections in the DPR and LPR

EPDE

The international community considered the “General elections” in Donetsk and Lugansk as illegitimate and did not send any observers to monitor them. Aiming to fill the void of legitimacy, the “authorities” of the DPR and LPR invited dozens of “international observers” from countries such as Austria, Canada, France, Italy and  Germany. None of them were transparent about the methodology they employed for observing the election processes and, therefore, violated the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers. We have identified their names and their background.

 

Regional Elections

Politically Biased International Election Observation at the 2018 Regional Elections in Russia

Photo: omskportal.ru

The majority of the international experts, who attended the regional elections in several Russian oblasts during the so-called single voting day, have a history of participating in various pro-Kremlin efforts. Although they were not officially accredited by Russia’s CEC as election observers, the Russian media and individual members of the CEC often referred to them as such. See the analysis of media publications on the elections and profiles of the international experts in our latest report.

 
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