Russian disinformation campaign promoting Putin’s legitimacy reported on X

A woman casts her ballot during the presidential election in Moscow last Friday. Photo: EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

A woman casts her ballot during the presidential election in Moscow last Friday. Photo: EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Kremlin-linked accounts have launched a disinformation campaign on X aimed at convincing foreign audiences that the recent Russian presidential election was legitimate, Russian independent news outlet Agentstvo reported on Friday.

Messages with similar content were posted on X between Monday and Tuesday in English, French, German, and Ukrainian. According to Agentstvo, the messages compared Russia’s “competitive and fair” elections to Ukraine’s decision to cancel the presidential election this year. Other accounts posited that Ukraine should not “cancel” everything to do with Russia.

Photo: Agentstvo citing Bot Blocker

Photo: Agentstvo citing Bot Blocker

Bot accounts also attached a viral music video to posts written in English, showing people dressed in Russian national costume hailing the Russian “love of voting”. “There is no autocracy. We live in democracy,” one man featured in the video sang.

The video appeared online before the misinformation campaign on X, but its origin is unknown. According to Bot Blocker, an account that tracks Russian bots on X, this was the biggest one-day misinformation campaign since online monitoring began.

Russian President Vladimir Putin secured a fifth term in office after receiving 87% of the vote in last weekend’s election. However, statistical analysis by Novaya Gazeta Europe revealed record levels of fraud during the election, with at least 22 million falsified votes included in the results.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.