MOSCOW, September 15./TASS/. Information attacks against Russia have multiplied ahead of the 2021 Russian legislative elections, and they continue, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Rossiya 24 television on Wednesday, adding that Russia was ready to rebuff them.
"Attacks have now increased, they have increased manifold in the information-political sphere. They will be continued, but we are ready for that," Zakharova said.
As an example, the diplomat mentioned the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which "stirred up a scandal" over an alleged non-admission of its observer mission to the election. Zakharova reiterated that Russia had asked it to send 50 observers to monitor the State Duma elections instead of 500. However, the mission opted against sending the observers.
"The ODIHR made a scandal of this at the level of an information-political campaign, saying that they were allegedly barred, that allegedly based on their internal regulations they could not cut the number of observers. This is not true, this is not consistent with reality. There are no internal regulations whatsoever as to the quantitative parameters of the observers that would be approved by the OSCE member nations," Zakharova explained. She pointed out that the OSCE had sent about 40 observers to the US elections.
Elections to the 8th Russian State Duma (lower house) are scheduled for September 19, 2021, known as the Single Voting Day. The balloting process will span three days - September 17, 18, and 19. In addition to the State Duma elections, voters will go to the polls to cast ballots for the heads of nine Russian regions (in another three regions, local legislatures will elect top executive officials) and in elections for 39 regional parliaments.
According to the spokeswoman, about 250 foreign observers will arrive. "Everything is okay here with foreign monitoring. These are about 50 countries and eight international organizations," she added.
"The global community will also have the chance to get an idea about the expression of the people’s will from a large number of international observers, " Zakharova said.