Three organizations at YES Forum create Ukraine Elections Task Force to counter outside interference
The Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity have launched the 'Ukraine Elections Task Force' at the 15th YES Conference in Kyiv.
"As Ukraine prepares for the second Presidential and Parliamentary elections since the Maidan revolution, three organizations have joined forces to help thwart outside efforts to subvert the democratic process," the press service of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation reported.
"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," Director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council John Herbst said.
He said that recognizing three organizations have put together an initiative to monitor, expose and counteract Kremlin interference in this election.
Herbst said that defeating Kremlin aggression in Ukraine – and preventing Moscow from destabilizing 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," he said.
Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that there is no doubt that Russia has a stake in next year's elections.
"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," he said.
He said that Ukraine Elections Task Force will be politically neutral, but "we intend to act as a referee to ensure that the playing field is fair."
Founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation Victor Pinchuk said election meddling represents the crossroads of both the possibilities and the threats.
He said that 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," he said.