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Russia Is Accusing the US of 'Direct Interference' In Its Elections (businessinsider.com) 195

schwit1 shares a report from Business Insider (alternative source): Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday accused the U.S. of a "direct interference in our electoral process and internal affairs" following the State Department's criticism of Russia's decision to bar opposition leader Alexey Navalny from running in the upcoming presidential election against Vladimir Putin. "This State Department statement, which I'm sure will be repeated, is a direct interference in our electoral process and internal affairs," Zakharova wrote Tuesday on Facebook. In a statement shared with Business Insider on Tuesday night, a State Department spokesperson expressed concern over the Russian government's "ongoing crackdown against independent voices, from journalists to civil society activists and opposition politicians." "These actions indicate the Russian government has failed to protect space in Russia for the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms," the statement said. "More broadly, we urge the government of Russia to hold genuine elections that are transparent, fair, and free and that guarantee the free expression of the will of the people, consistent with its international human rights obligations." Zakharova pushed back. "And these people expressed outrage over alleged Russian 'interference' in their electoral process for an entire year?!" she said.

"Pointing out that the Kremlin is interfering in its own election is not interference," adds schwit1.


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Russia Is Accusing the US of 'Direct Interference' In Its Elections

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @05:51PM (#55818503)
    Russia's Precious Snowflake, Putin, can't handle the heat? Is that what I'm hearing?
    • by dasgoober ( 2882045 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:17PM (#55818657)

      It's not the heat. Putin wants to maintain the *illusion* that he won in fair elections.

      • illusion? regardless of what we think of Putin he is actually incredibly popular over their and will likely win by a landslide even in a completely fair election.
      • It's not the heat. Putin wants to maintain the *illusion* that he won in fair elections.

        He probably would win if he ever agreed to have a fair election, but he is SUCH a coward and pre-teen pussy he just doesn't dare.

    • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @08:31PM (#55819261) Homepage

      Arguably, Russia's involvement in the US elections was aimed at this goal, at least in part. It has long been Russia's intent to smear the "great experiement" that is the United States of America's democracy; claims that the US is as corrupt and venal as anyone else have been part and parcel of their dialog for nearly a century.

      This is not only an attempt to weaken the US but also to make Russia's own politics look better in comparison. After all, if the United States - long champion of democracy - can't ensure honest elections, it is hardly fair to expect any other nation to do so either. Putin's own political maneuverings were suspect long before 2016. While Navalny, an anti-corruption activist isn't expected to win in the 2018 Russian elections, he has gathered a sizeable following who threaten Putin's absolute power. They will be very suspicious of Putin's victory, even were it completely on the up-and-up (which, it is widely believed, will not be).

      But by casting blame on the US, Putin can misdirect the blame; if the US can't secure their own elections from foreign influence, it's no surprise if poor impoverished Russia is even more vulnerable. Thus, if Putin wins /despite/ such influence, it only further legitimizes his victory.

      • You're spot on. Their chess game has moved more in the last couple of years than in decades. The fact that so many Americans even put them on the same level is a huge step. People now thinking they are comparing yabloki to yabloki, is a huge win for the Kremlin.

        --
        Apple's to Apple's, dust to dust.

      • Arguably, Russia's involvement in the US elections was aimed at this goal, at least in part. It has long been Russia's intent to smear the "great experiement" that is the United States of America's democracy; claims that the US is as corrupt and venal as anyone else have been part and parcel of their dialog for nearly a century.

        This is not only an attempt to weaken the US but also to make Russia's own politics look better in comparison. After all, if the United States - long champion of democracy - can't ensure honest elections, it is hardly fair to expect any other nation to do so either. Putin's own political maneuverings were suspect long before 2016. While Navalny, an anti-corruption activist isn't expected to win in the 2018 Russian elections, he has gathered a sizeable following who threaten Putin's absolute power. They will be very suspicious of Putin's victory, even were it completely on the up-and-up (which, it is widely believed, will not be).

        But by casting blame on the US, Putin can misdirect the blame; if the US can't secure their own elections from foreign influence, it's no surprise if poor impoverished Russia is even more vulnerable. Thus, if Putin wins /despite/ such influence, it only further legitimizes his victory.

        How many congress men have the Koch brothers bought? And senators too? Where is American democracy if the congressman looks to only respond to his next election financiers.

    • 1905 called - they want their Russian tu quoque deflection whataboutism back. [wikipedia.org]

      Bitches don't know bout public domain.

  • by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @05:53PM (#55818519)

    Why do I suddenly feel gaslit?

    • I thought your comment was insightful and interesting, but funny didn't cross my mind.

      --
      EOF

      • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

        I just wrote the comment I didn't mod it.

        My point was all of a sudden Russia is implying that we are or we intend on messing with their elections. Yet they have no evidence of this but there is some evidence that they were influencing ours and tons of evidence that they are manipulating their own.

        So now they are gaslighting and acting like they are the victim.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          My point was all of a sudden Russia is implying that we are or we intend on messing with their elections. Yet they have no evidence of this but there is some evidence that they were influencing ours and tons of evidence that they are manipulating their own.

          There is evidence in both cases, just not in the way you think. Every country screws with other countries. Hell the US was interfering in Canadian elections. Environmental groups in Canada were getting back-channel funds through US environmental groups who'd been sucking off the tit of the CFPB. Think there's a reason that even after the previous government left power that the CRA(akin to the IRS) is still investigating this? There's also serious problems in CFPB land with the person who was overseeing [dailycaller.com]

  • Explain.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Kind of how asking certain questions can be racist, sexist, or xenophobic. Actually not 'kind of like,' but rather 'exactly like.' Allow me to illustrate with an example near and dear to the KGB:
      Alice: The CIA invented AIDS to kill black people!
      Bob: What evidence do you have of that?
      Alice: Racist!! Believe the victims!!1!!one
      • No, saying shit like "grab em by the pussy", and I'm rich they let me do what I want, makes you a sexist asshole.

        Stop skewing the truth.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          I'm rich they let me do what I want, makes you a sexist asshole.

          So how does that work out with Bill & Hillary, and Hillary directly attacking the people who made claims? Right...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      According to the Democrats, truths told about your candidate is considered divisive and constitutes interference.

      So either both of these acts are interference, or neither of them are.

    • gasÂlight
      ËÉaslÄt/
      verb
      gerund or present participle: gaslighting

              manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
              "in the first episode, Karen Valentine is being gaslighted by her husband"

  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @05:59PM (#55818551)

    There are russian elections? I thought it was all rigged in the first place.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are russian elections? I thought it was all rigged in the first place.

      In Russia it's a toss up between rigging the elections or shooting the other guy in the back ... choices, choices ...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:07PM (#55818611)

      You can vote for Putin, the dead guy, or the guy who isn't allowed to run.

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:14PM (#55818643)

        You can vote for Putin, the dead guy, or the guy who isn't allowed to run.

        ...and the pustule riddled guy in the wheelchair who glows in the dark because he forgot to scan his food with a geiger counter.

      • Re: Wait... (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:15PM (#55818649)

        WHAT!? We only get two choices here in America.

        • Re: Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

          by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:23PM (#55818707)
          America is just like Russia. In America, you can stand in the middle of the National Mall, shouting 'Down with American Imperialsm!' and you won't be punished. Similarly, in Russia you can stand in the middle of Red Square shouding 'Down with American Imperialism!' and you won't be punished.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            The US and Russia are frighteningly similar. Both are authoritarian states which likes to pretend they are not, both have a population which is heavily indoctrinated "to love their country", do as you're told, ask no questions and never question the ruling class or political system.

            Not that I'd expect you to admit to it, or even recognize it though.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              Both are authoritarian states which likes to pretend they are not

              America is not authoritarian. You may want to look up what the word means.

              Russia is openly authoritarian, and does not pretend otherwise.

              both have a population which is heavily indoctrinated "to love their country"

              So does every other country ever.

              • The totally biased media may be one reason for this. But Russians like a "strong" man and Putin would easily win even if the elections were fair.

              • Re: Wait... (Score:4, Informative)

                by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @11:26PM (#55819777) Homepage Journal

                America is not authoritarian. You may want to look up what the word means.

                "Authoritarianism is [wikipedia.org] a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms." Check. "Juan Linz's influential 1964 description of authoritarianism characterized authoritarian political systems by four qualities: Limited political pluralism," (Check [thenation.com].) "[...] A basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" (Check [thehill.com].) "Minimal social mobilization" (Check [nymag.com].) "Informally defined executive power with often vague and shifting powers." (Check [qz.com].) ... you were saying?

                Russia is openly authoritarian, and does not pretend otherwise.

                That's not at question currently, but thanks for handwaving.

                • So Obama writing those orders despite congressional action or inaction to the contrary is Nothing To See Here Folks and Trump rescinding many of them is zOMG Executive Overreach...please.
                  • So Obama writing those orders despite congressional action or inaction to the contrary is Nothing To See Here Folks and Trump rescinding many of them is zOMG Executive Overreach...please.

                    Learn to read, son. Here's the first paragraph from the article on executive overreach:

                    For nearly 17 years, I have been complaining about US presidentsâ(TM) executive orders. First under George W. Bush, and then under Barack Obama, I was worried about the use of decrees as a substitute for legislation.

                    If you can't read, don't post. Period, the end. You're a carbuncle on the ass of Slashdot.

                  • There has usually (maybe always) been tension between the Legislative and Executive branches, and I think the Founders might well have intended that. The Judicial branch is supposed to decide what's legit and what's overreaching, not random internet commentators.

                    As a leftist, having Trump rescind many of those EOs is bad for the country, but not normally executive overreach. The FCC may or may not have overreached; I don't know enough of the relevant law to say.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      The ballots of dictatorships usually resemble:

        A. [_] Your wonderful Mr. Dictator
        B. [_] Death

    • Not rigged as such. One of the duties of the Russian President is vetting and approving candidates for President, so Putin simply exercises his legal authority and prevents anyone with a real chance from running. It's a huge, gaping flaw in the process that renders the elections totally illegitimate by democratic standards.

      The funny part is that the criticism from the State Department is nothing considering that in the past it went to much greater lengths to influence the outcome of Russia's elections.

  • Well if Putin is not elected and thrown completely out of the government, then I might think there was a 2% chance this is true.

    Maybe a printer in the US was sub-contracted to print ballots with an X already in Putin's Box :)

  • The Russian elections are a total sham. There's no way Putin isn't going to win.

    • Hey, just because you know it's "Putin" that's going to win, you don't know which body double will end up actually winning. I've got my money on the fat one.
  • You put peanut butter on my chocolate!

  • Ob (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:14PM (#55818635) Homepage Journal

    In Soviet Russia, kettle mocks pot!

  • Seriously...

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:20PM (#55818683)

    "Pointing out that the Kremlin is interfering in its own election is not interference," adds schwit1.

    Of course it is. But, it's entirely aboveboard, unlike the secret (at the time) Russian interference.

    That's not to say the US isn't doing their own dirty tricks in secret, but that's not what the article is about.

    • by ABEND ( 15913 )

      What exactly was the (no longer secret?) interference? Was it a video? If so, do you have a link for it (assuming that it won't take control over my mental faculties--turning me into a Manchurian Candidate [wikipedia.org])?

    • "Pointing out that the Kremlin is interfering in its own election is not interference," adds schwit1.

      Of course it is. But, it's entirely aboveboard, unlike the secret (at the time) Russian interference.

      I think we need to qualify "interfering" a bit more carefully. IMHO, interfering with an election means you are trying to pick a winner. That's not the same as commenting on the events and episodes of a foreign election in a way that expresses your own interests. The fairness of foreign elections is a legitimate interest of all democratic countries.

      And then, there is colluding. That's not just a foreign power interfering with an election. Colluding means a candidate joins forces with a foreign power that is

  • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:29PM (#55818739)

    What election? Putin has no legal political opponent that has any chance of winning.

  • Dear Russia (Score:5, Funny)

    by Patent Lover ( 779809 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:31PM (#55818757)
    I have it on good authority that Vladimir Putin runs a pizza joint which is a front for child trafficking. Also, he was the cause for Benghazi. He wants to take your guns. He also has violated IT policy on several occasions. Please tell all your friends on Facebook or you face certain disaster.
  • A joke (Score:5, Funny)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @06:47PM (#55818839)

    We should hack their elections and make Hillary win.

  • Typical 1959 KGB manual of election interference in foreign nations.

  • A new method to sway Russian election is needed so a new person compromised by the CIA can win Russian election.
    Use full powers of CIA anthropologists to study Russian mind.
    A diverse set of US graduates end up working for CIA, many will have good ideas on how to alter Russian elections.
    The past efforts of innovate Colour revolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] attempts are now well understood by most nations security services the CIA wants to change governments in.
    Security services watch US a
    • I doubt it would work against Russia. Even if Putin would approve a candidate that could actually challenge him, you have too many points of involvement to go undetected.

      Besides, it's been tried. When Putin was PM, running to get his old job back, we tried to sway the election. It didn't work. Nor does it seem likely that it worked when Putin returned the favor last year, though the investigation is ongoing.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        But the CIA anthropologists really have a good plan this time. Its all in the speeches around Russia and been seen doing sport. A healthy, positive candidate that can sway the vote for sure. The NOG funding is all in place. The stickers, T shirts, slogan and music are all ready.
        Its not a color revolution using existing political leaders this time.
        Its about creating a new political party in Russia to win next elections. Not using existing political parties. A new face and new party.
        New ideas f
        • It doesn't matter how good the plan is, it still bears a fatal flaw. We're involved. The FSB is every bit as good as the CIA and has none of its constraints. There is no way to keep our fingerprints off the operation, and even a hint of Western involvement would bring it all down.

          The whole thing, start to finish, would have to be conceived, run and funded solely and entirely by Russians. Not one sticker from outside. The most we can do is to encourage someone to have the idea. Even then there's the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as stating, "We in Russia don't want to let any nut job run for President. Such would be detrimental to a democracy. Look at President Donald Trump as an example. Or a psychopath like Vladimir Putin." Maria Zakharova's body was found shortly afterwards floating face down in the river and shot in the back with twenty bullets. Police are ruling it as one of the worst suicides of the political season.

  • Reading Wikipedia page on Alexey Navalny [wikipedia.org], it will be difficult to make one's mind about that story: the anti-corruption candidate is banned from election because he was convicted in a corruption case.

    Of course that could be a dirty trick to get rid of him. The ECHR invalided a first ruling, because Russia had violated Navalny's right to a fair trial. There has been a second ruling where he was also convincted, and he is going to the ECHR again. We do not have the final word.

  • '"Pointing out that the Kremlin is interfering in its own election is not interference," adds schwit1.'

    I'd generally agree but then for the most part the "Russian interference" mostly amounted to highlighting that one of the US major political parties was interfering in the US Election by stacking the deck against the popular candidate (Sanders) in favor the establishment leader (H. Clinton).

    Clinton claims she wasn't complicit in that but if it's revealed that you've been winning the poker tournament with a

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