Documenting the Russian Kremlin’s Blatant Electoral Fraud

Global Voices reports:

In 76 regions of Russia people went to voting stations on March 14 to cast their votes for local mayors and regional legislature representatives. The ruling party “United Russia” has won in most of those elections. However, the victory of the party in power wasn’t absolute: in Irkutsk people preferred opposition candidate Viktor Kondrashov but this was the only case. Despite the increasing wave of protests (like in Irkutsk [RUS] itself,Kaliningrad, Moscow and others), “United Russia” managed to keep its dominance in all Russian regional legislatures as well as city administration offices.

One of the secrets of such “political stability” (besides state-controlled mass media) is a range of alleged numerous fraud techniques used both by party members and public officials during the elections. These elections were the first to show the power of Web 2.0. in uncovering them. Bloggers gathered evidence of fraud with their cell phone cameras and published them online.

Particularly members of the election observer association “Golos”[EN] (”A Voice”) were quite active in promoting election transparency and exposing fraud. The association installed a fraud hotline website “” where everyone could post a fraud report. So far, 561 fraud cases have been noted.

Telephone Voting, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk region

Blogger leonwolf made a capture of the local TV programme where a head of the regional election committee was inviting people to vote by using a phone line and without signing any papers (which is illegal). “You can just call, tell your passport details and if they match those in the database your vote will be counted,” the head of election committee said on TV.

Protocol Rewriting, Stanitsa Dinskaya, Krasnodar region.

Russian oppositional newspaper Novaya Gazeta posted a video[RUS], where an employee of the local election committee was allegedly rewriting the election protocol (a document presenting the final result of the election).

Vote For Relatives, Yekaterinburg

In the video below two women confess they were brought to the election station to vote for their parents (probably unable to get to the election station by themselves). Such procedure is legal if a person possesses an absentee ballot. But these two women, as well as the whole bus (can be seen on the background) of their “colleagues,” do not have it. And still they’re allowed to vote. Not to mention that their transfer was paid by the regional government, as well as a sightseeing excursion after the election.

Mass Preliminary Vote, Ivanovo

The most popular fraud technique is a directed at a preliminary vote. It’s been practiced among soldiers, policemen and sometimes students. In other words, regional authorities try to mobilize as many people as they can, especially if they have channels of pressure. For students such channel of pressure are various: grades, scholarships, ability to passing an exams, etc.

Blogger vitaliy-averin posted video to illustrate such an event.

This video shows a woman checking the absence of students, while these pictures depict a huge crowd at the college hall.

Ballot Insertion, Astrakhan

Video captures two people putting packs of ballots into the ballot box.

All these cases represent current situation with the Russian electoral system. The dominance of the ruling party is based on numerous illegal actions that result in the “expected” election results. At the same time, it shows the weakness of the political system that fails to conduct its political course without such anti-democratic and unlawful measures. But as the bloggers become more and more powerful and as the evidence of the fraud is being more efficiently distributed among Russian netizens, the government’s failure to provide free and fair elections can become a real, not virtual, problem.

7 responses to “Documenting the Russian Kremlin’s Blatant Electoral Fraud

  1. Rashan are more and more nostalgic for the strict, centralized authoritarian power and intensification of centralism on the part of the Kremlin. Mascali are very suspicious, of local self-government.

    “On the local level, as we have seen in Kursk and, first and foremost, in the Urals, the process of consolidation of the local political forces has begun.

    Communists, social democrats, liberal democrats, the remains of the liberal parties, including what has left of Pravoye Delo (Just Cause) and Yabloko–United Democrats, plus the United Civil Front — they all stand up together to back a candidate who is in opposition to Yedinaya Rossiya. This is how the mayor of Irkutsk was elected.

    But to show that I am not against Rasha ruining every nation around it, because it is sick.

    Here is a Soviet Singers comeback for you commies, without filthy cursing rashan language, that grates on everybodies nerves. Singing in Neutered Rashan.

  2. This video is result of censorship which forbid words of that song – I am very glad, because I`m finaly returning home. It was in time when people were allowed to return home from Siberia, 60s. And I think this video is some kind of protest and joke in 60s.

  3. The video is actually a parody from 1976 on a famous singer (Lev Leschenko – the grins are trademark him). What does it have to do with electoral fraud three decade later is not clear.

    It has nothing to do with Siberia, either…

    • This song is from 1966. The singer is the famous in the 1960s Jewish singer Eduard Khil. The composer is an even more famous and equally Jewish Akdy Ostrovsky. Originally it had words. It was about an American cowboy being happy about returning home. The words were banned by Sovoks because the hero was American. Or more likely, because, as AB said, it had some political double-speak. So, the authors just eliminated the words and laughed at the Sovoks instead. It was not a big hit in the USSR then, but it is now in the West.

      Here are the details:

      And here is the RT segment about it:

  4. BTW, here is a really popular hit by the same people – Ostrovsky and Khil – from the 1960s:

  5. Now that we heard from the Golden Warbler. There is some lessons for Electoral Fraud for cheating Rasha Party;

    When the United Russia operatives were generating ballots and injecting them into the system, they forgot to find out what the standard invalid ballot rate was and duplicate that!

    Russia’s election was likely illegitimate. I now join the calls for US policy with respect to Russia to be adjusted accordingly.

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