15:15 20.11.2020

CVU records many cases of black PR before second round of elections

3 min read

KYIV. Nov 20 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) draws attention to the massive use of black PR on the eve of the second round of mayoral elections, scheduled for November 22, probably in some cases Russian political technologists are working.

"Before the elections, we are witnessing the massive use of black PR facts. We have the impression that black technologies have grown significantly compared to the first round," Head of the CVU Oleksiy Koshel said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Friday.

According to him, the scale and nature of the use of black PR suggest that "Russian political strategists from Ryazan and Kemerovo have returned to Ukraine and are actively working."

In some cases, the expert says, the use of black PR violates criminal law.

Koshel gave the most striking examples. For example, in Sloviansk (Donetsk region) in one of the local Telegram channels, a video is being showed with former mayor Nelia Shtepa, in which she accuses one of the candidates of corruption.

"The most striking example is the spread of rumors that in Sloviansk one of the candidates, the owner of the enterprise, gave the order to get rid of the dog from the plant and drown the puppies," the head of the committee said.

Negative campaigning in Zakarpattia is also distinguished by a creative approach. Leaflets are being circulated about one of the candidates in which he is depicted in a wedding veil. They write about another one that he bought a restaurant in the center of Vienna for $1 million.

In addition, in Rivne and Lviv there are rumors about the support of the candidates by head of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk.

"In these cities, voters are afraid of Viktor Medvedchuk. Materials are being distributed in Rivne that Medvedchuk supported Tretiak (European Solidarity candidate Oleksandr Tretiak), they agreed on support, etc. In Lviv social networks, one of the candidates is almost Medvedchuk's nominee," Koshel said.

In addition, a special issue of the Ratusha newspaper with materials against the incumbent mayor Andriy Sadovy is being massively distributed in Lviv. The official position of the newspaper's editorial office is that they have nothing to do with this issue.

In the city of Dnipro, the newspaper Dniprovsky accent is distributed on social networks, which contains material denigrating mayor Borys Filatov, with a "loud" headline in the style of black political technologies.

The head of the committee also drew attention to the manipulation of voter turnout, direct and indirect bribery of voters on the eve of the second round of elections.

On November 22, a second round of mayoral elections will take place in 11 cities of Ukraine.