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US planning cyber attacks on Russia's electronic voting system — intel agency

The service said that calls for Russian citizens to ignore the election were being spread through opposition Internet resources at the behest of Washington

MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. The US through leading IT specialists is planning to carry out cyber attacks on the remote electronic voting system at the Russian presidential election, the press office of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) reported.

"With the participation of leading American IT specialists, the US plans to carry out cyber attacks on the system of remote electronic voting, which will make it impossible to account for the votes of a significant proportion of Russian voters," the press office said in a statement.

The service added that calls for Russian citizens to ignore the election are being spread through opposition Internet resources at the behest of Washington. "The American-style plot is not so complicated. According to Washington's calculations, the resulting ‘decrease in voter turnout’ will give the West a reason to question the election results. However, Washington's campaign managers seem to be in danger of miscalculating again," the SVR said.

"EU citizens will certainly be interested to hear maxims about 'voting with their feet' from the mouth of [French President Emmanuel] Macron, who failed to get even 30% of the vote in the first round of the last presidential election in France in 2022. Such statements are also unbecoming of [Italian Prime Minister Giorgia] Meloni, whose party, with 26% of the vote, won an unexpected victory in the same year only because of the record low turnout in Italy's parliamentary elections," the press office added.

The SVR also pointed out that about 26% of citizens voted for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's party in the 2021 federal elections, while according to the latest German opinion polls, only 14% of voters would support him if direct elections were held in Germany. "Or maybe it's a subtle hint from the Americans to Rishi Sunak, who cleverly took over the UK prime minister's chair in 2022, bypassing the general vote of the citizens. Now the current prime minister is postponing in every possible way the holding of extraordinary parliamentary elections, the results of which will definitely deprive him of his post," the press office said.

The Federation Council, or upper house of Russia’s parliament, designated March 17, 2024 as the date of the presidential election. The Russian Central Election Commission then announced that voting will take place over three days, from March 15 through 17, making it Russia’s first three-day presidential election.