Russia is preparing for a new powerful manipulation campaign to meddle in the Ukrainian elections scheduled for next year, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
One of the most critical periods is coming as the democratic world is entering a new electoral cycle, the president told the 13th meeting of heads of foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine, according to the presidential administration's press service.
The elections will be held in the U.S. in November, the renewal of the European institutions - in 2019, while Ukraine is also approaching the period of the electoral campaign.
"Leading IT companies have already recorded thousands, tens of thousands of fake accounts with Russian roots being created. Russia is preparing for a new powerful manipulation campaign - fake news, undermining stability," the president said.
The president stressed: "I have no doubt that Moscow will not lose any opportunity to discredit our achievements in order to sow disillusionment among citizens in the future and fatigue of the European choice. We have to be ready to respond, although this is not a simple task,” said Poroshenko.
According to the president, Russia has gained skills other countries, in particular during the referendum in Netherlands on ratification of the association agreement and during the Brexit referendum.
"The tentacles of Moscow have penetrated social networks heavily, they hold grip on certain media, they are present in cyberspace. At the same time, the Kremlin skillfully covers its subversive activities with democratic values and principles. We have to look for ways to cooperate with other states and coordinate efforts to develop a reliable mechanism for preventing third-party interference in the electoral process and ensuring free expression of will of our citizens," the president said.
The President called for special attention to be paid to the countries that already have relevant developments. "In particular, the experience of Paris and Berlin is very interesting," Poroshenko said.
"I ask you to work out the possibility of involving German, French and American experts in the preparation of a similar legislative initiative in Ukraine," the president said, addressing the diplomats. "I can emphasize that international assistance will be useful. The issue is extremely sensitive, because it requires maintaining a balance between the requirements of national security and respect for democratic values."