ICDS Chief Executive and Programme Director “Resilient Ukraine” Dmitri Teperik participated in the international roundtable entitled “Russia’s interference in electoral processes: threat and response”, organized by the Committee of Voters of Ukraine in Kyiv on 17 February 2020.
In his speech, Dmitri Teperik addressed major challenges to flawed democracy in Ukraine and listed several practical recommendations to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine and parliamentarians from the Verhkovna Rada of Ukraine.
“Foreign interference in elections is one powerful, long-term oriented tool among many of various malicious influence activities. There is always a challenge to track it properly, find solid evidences and then make precise attribution, followed ideally – but nowadays rarely – by adequate response”, noted Dmitri Teperik. “While manipulating with elections in several democratic countries, the Kremlin uses hybrid tactics of plausible deniability because our failure to punish it strengthens the sense of permissiveness. There is no doubt about variety of Kremlin’s toolbox – interference can be projected and supported tactically by the means of targeted cyber-attacks or strategically by embedding via media some resonating issues into political agenda of different parties and politicians”, added Teperik.
Dmitri Teperik underlined that electoral resilience should be considered as an integral part of national security as it aims at protecting democratic principles, processes and institutions. “Guarding election is not just a task for government. Whole-of-society approach is clearly needed and it requires development of a nation-wide system for appropriate situation awareness and investments into modern skills of responsible electoral stakeholders, including voters themselves. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities should be analysed not just from technical point of view but taking into account also principles of information security and communication flows, “ concluded Teperik.