The West Openly Admitted That It Intends to Interfere in Ukraine’s 2019 Elections

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

15/09/2018 1/2

The former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated at the Yalta European Strategy conference in Kiev that “propagandists have a considerably greater influence” 
on social networks in Ukraine “than in other countries”.

“We monitored social media when Zakharchenko was killed in Donetsk, and the conclusions are impressive – on certain social media platforms a third of conversations are controlled by accounts that were created just for propaganda (Rasmussen obviously means the existence of points of view that are contrary to the theses of the Ukrainian media – ed).

According to our estimates, all talk on social media is subjected to artificial influence much more strongly in Ukraine than in other countries (here Rasmussen also obviously doesn’t mean the censorship of the Ukrainian authorities, but users of social networks that they don’t control – ed). This influence is 50% higher than what we observe in other countries where such monitoring is carried out, for example in Sweden, Italy, or Mexico,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

According to the former NATO Secretary General, these technologies “aim to destroy trust in democratic institutes”.

“Today this is a very serious challenge for all the democratic world. It is precisely for this reason that I created the transnational committee on the fight for fair elections. We would like to cooperate with business, politicians, and the media on both sides of the Atlantic to find new solutions,” he noted.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen reminded that in the countries of Europe, including Ukraine, it is planned to carry out 20 electoral campaigns up to 2020.

“Today we declared that our working group concerning the Ukrainian elections will monitor interference in the elections in Ukraine. We will propose practical solutions for these problems,” he summarised.

It was also announced at the Yalta European Strategy conference that the “Eurasian Center of the Atlantic Council”, the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, and the “Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity” had created a “Ukraine Elections Task Force”.

The task force will include “experts in cyber security” and also “combatting disinformation and hybrid methods of warfare in Ukraine, Western Europe, and the US”. They will “monitor attempts to interfere and will inform the governments and the public about threats if instances of external influence are detected”.

The former ambassador of the US in Ukraine John Herbst said while presenting the new project:

“Moscow has actively intervened in elections in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere in recent years. The Kremlin is gearing up to do the same in Ukraine’s March, 2019 Presidential election…Ukraine is currently the principal focus of Moscow’s revisionist foreign policy. Defeating Kremlin aggression in Ukraine – and preventing Moscow from destabilising Ukraine by interfering in its election — promotes stability in Europe and Eurasia. Second, uncovering Kremlin tactics in Ukraine will help us defend against likely Kremlin interference in American and other European elections”.

Herbst was echoed by Rasmussen:

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“There is no doubt that Russia has a stake in next year’s elections where the choice is to stay the course on its reformist and western path, or to backslide. I have no doubt Moscow will deploy the full playbook of measures to spread confusion and fear: cyber-attacks, assassinations, disinformation, conventional attacks in Eastern Ukraine. We cannot allow this to happen. This is why our task force will work to help protect Ukraine from interference and raise awareness in the West about what the Kremlin is doing here. We will be politically neutral (how original – after making the aforementioned accusations! – ed), but we intend to act as a referee to ensure that the playing field is fair (!!! – ed)and to blow the whistle when we see outside interference happening”.

“Western partners” were in turn echoed by the Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, who is the son-in-law of the former president Leonid Kuchma:

“Election meddling represents the crossroads of both. The next generation of meddling and disinformation technologies could dramatically harm the next generation of democracy and even Ukrainian statehood. Moreover, if we do not prevent it, what might happen in Ukraine in 2019, may also be repeated across the West in 2020. This is why it is extremely important to discuss these issues,” said the oligarch enriched thanks to a favourable marriage with Kuchma’s daughter.

[The video above, from a separate discussion from a different part of the forum, allows the reader to see the other “esteemed” guests who attended the event]

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