IESC's Paper

A Guide to the Russian Tool Box of Election Meddling


The International Elections Study Centre, an EPDE member from Lithuania, has published a paper, focusing on Russia’s election meddling as a measure of political warfare. For Putin’s regime, meddling in elections is only part of a bigger campaign in the Kremlin’s war against the West, carried out non-stop for a long time and using a variety of methods in its malign activities. It is therefore impossible to analyse this meddling in separation from a general strategy of Putin’s regime or to undertake measures of protection only against election meddling without an effort, comprehensive enough, to fight back against the Russian threat as such.


Regional Elections

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


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.


EPDE publication

Politically biased election observation—a threat to the integrity of international institutions

In recent years, we have witnessed the increasing phenomenon of “biased observation”. EPDE reacts to this trend with the new publication "Politically biased election observation—a threat to the integrity of international institutions". The booklet comprises analyses and recommendations that help to identify and react to any kind of politically influenced election observation.


Presidential Election

Politically Biased Foreign Electoral Observation at the Russian 2018 Presidential Election

Using OSINT methods we have identified 160 foreign observers who monitored the presidential election in Russia (125 observers out of 439) and Russia-annexed Crimea (35 observers out of 43). The majority of these observers are members of political parties from across the political spectrum, ranging from the far left through the centre-left and centre-right to the far right.


Presidential Election

Foreign observation of the illegitimate presidential election in Crimea in March 2018

Reputable monitoring organisations did not send any missions to observe the Russian presidential election in Crimea held on the 18th of March 2018. Aiming to give domestic and international legitimacy to the election in Crimea, the Russian authorities invited, via a number of organisations, 43 foreign observers who obtained accreditation from the CEC and illegally travelled to Crimea to monitor the electoral process there.


Presidential Election

Preliminary report on the Kremlin-friendly international electoral observation

Several established organisations monitored the Russian presidential election on the 18th of March 2018. However, there were around 300 electoral observers who monitored the election upon individual invitations from the State Duma and Federation Council. Preliminary research suggests that these observers can be referred to as Kremlin-friendly, as their impressions about the electoral process were positive already before the electoral process took place and fully complied with the official position of the Kremlin.


Presidential Election

Preliminary statement based on the results of election observation for the March 18, 2018 presidential elections in the Russian Federation

In the preliminarily assessment of the presidential elections, “Golos” acknowledges the definite strong result of the winning candidate but regretfully declares that the movement does not recognize these elections as truly fair, i.e. fully consistent with the Constitution, the laws of the Russian Federation, and international election standards because the election results were achieved in an unfree, unequal, and uncompetitive election campaign. This fact does not allow “Golos,” therefore, to assert that the will of the voters was expressed as the result of a free election campaign.


Analytical report

Results of candidate registration. Administrative mobilization of voters


In a situation characterised by a low level of political competition and a predetermined election result, this election campaign has acquired a pronounced “administrative mobilization” character. On the one hand, there are various initiatives to encourage voter turnout; on the other, there is widespread use of technologies of direct administrative coercion to persuade people to vote


Investigation by the "Golos" movement

Smokescreen: How pseudo-public organizations simulate civic participation in Russian elections


A low level of real political competition has been a marked characteristic of the 2018 presidential election campaign in the Russian Federation. The low level of political competition has largely been caused by a significant imbalance in resources that the candidates possess. The obvious abuse of administrative resources was a catalyst for this investigation. It is devoted to examining the use of youth organizations and associations supervised by the authorities, mainly the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (“Rosmolodezh”), in the election campaign for the incumbent president and for simulating civic participation in election monitoring.


Golos Analytical Report

Nomination of candidates for the March 18, 2018 presidential elections in the Russian Federation (part 2)


EPDE publishes the second part of the report on the nomination of candidates for the presidential elections in the Russian Federation by Golos. According to it, a massive and often  compulsory  collection  of  signatures  in  support  of  Vladimir Putin’s nomination happened at workplaces during  business hours, including at budget, educational, and medical institutions, as well as industrial enterprises. There were recorded cases of  “administrative” coercion of state employees and students to participate in signaturecollection for Vladimir Putin.


Golos Analytical Report

Nomination of candidates for the March 18, 2018 presidential elections in the Russian Federation (part 1)


In general, the legal inequality of candidates from parties represented in the State Duma as opposed to candidates from other parties remains unchanged. An earlier announcement of the start of the election campaign would have created more equal and favorable conditions for the nomination of candidates. Current legislative restrictions on the right to be elected president that relate to previous convictions and the need for the presidential nominee to have a valid residence permit, are excessive, unfair, and undemocratic.