Monitoring Outside Interference in Ukraine's 2019 Presidential Election

TASK FORCE REPORT - Foreign Interference in Ukraine's Democracy

The Atlantic Council, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity have established the Ukrainian Election Task Force. Working with other Ukrainian institutions—StopFake, Razumkov Centre, and Detector Media—the three partners created a rapid-response team with the ability to monitor, evaluate, and disclose the full range of foreign subversive activities in Ukraine, and to propose suitable responses.

Ukraine conducted its presidential election in accordance with democratic standards, reflected in the assessments of credible international observers. It did so despite clear Russian interference in Ukraine’s election, though the interference was not extensive enough to affect the election’s outcome or the actual voting process.

While the interference did not live up to worst fears, numerous examples of it can be found in the kinetic, disinformation, and cyber realms over a period of months. Russia’s war with Ukraine and its occupation of parts of Ukraine’s territory constitute the most blatant interference...


Task Force in Washington, DC

On Monday, April 1, 2019, the Ukrainian Election Task Force, in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, hosted a panel discussion in Washington, DC exploring foreign, particularly Kremlin, interference in the first round of the March 31 Ukrainian presidential election. David J. Kramer opened the panel saying that “the Task Force…has been very effective in exposing efforts to interfere in Ukraine’s election coming from outside.” He went on to describe how the first round was not completely free of outside interference, and how “99.9 percent of the incidents not surprisingly have come from Russia, from the Putin regime.” The interference encompassed a variety of threat types, including cyber, disinformation, and kinetic measures. The goal of the Kremlin’s interference was to destabilize Ukraine and “create this image that Ukraine was incapable of conducting a free and fair and legitimate election.” Overall, the panelists agreed that the first round of the election proceeded with low levels of foreign interference and thus signaled a positive step for democracy in Ukraine. The Task Force will continue to closely monitor Kremlin and other foreign interference efforts in near real-time.


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