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Increase in black PR and manipulative schemes to gain votes

(November 20, 2020)


Polling station in Dnipro, 25.10.2020. Source:


Briefing summary

CVU Chairman Oleksiy Koshel noted that the CVU recorded many cases of black PR on the eve of the second round of elections. “Before the election, we are seeing massive use of black PR. We have the impression that black PR has grown significantly compared to the first round,” said Oleksiy Koshel. According to him, the scale and nature of the use of black PR suggestss that “Russian political technologists from Ryazan and Kemerovo have returned to Ukraine and are actively working.” In a number of cases, the expert notes, the use of black PR violates criminal law. “The most striking example is the spread of rumors that in Slovyansk one of the candidates, the owner of an enterprise, gave the order to drive a dog out of a plant and drown puppies,” said the head of the CVU.

The CVU analyzed how many former parliamentarians were elected in the local elections. “About 50 deputies ran in local elections, mostly to regional councils. We analyzed how many of these deputies won. According to the Committee of Voters, 31 deputies won the elections to regional councils,” said CVU analyst Denis Rybachok. According to him, parliamentarians do not change their mandate in the Verkhovna Rada, they are already preparing applications and resigning from positions in regional councils obtained in local elections. Instead, the next candidates on the list will become local deputies. “We consider such actions, first of all, as voter fraud and a way to manipulate the opinion of citizens,” Rybachok concluded, adding that this is a traditional scheme for obtaining more votes for parties.

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine states that on the eve of the second round of elections, which will be held on November 22 in 11 cities of Ukraine, various manipulations related to voter turnout were involved. “On the eve of the second round, CVU observers report voter turnout manipulations. If voter turnout is low, any manipulation can have a significant impact on the results of the vote. And so we see that individual candidate teams are manipulating. to artificially increase the turnout of certain electoral groups or artificially underestimate the turnout, and thus gain more supporters or fewer supporters of his opponent, “said O. Koshel. As an example, he cited the situation in Lviv, when on the eve of the second round the turnout of young voters is artificially intensified. For this purpose, one of the mobile phone trade networks has been involved, which has announced the “Swing the polling station” campaign and is raffling off 12 iPhone models. “It’s 320 thousand hryvnias. And a lot of money is spent on advertising this action. That is, the turnout of young voters can be activated in this way … This is in no way a violation of current legislation, but it is a common manipulative technology,” said the CVU chairman.

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