State Duma creates commission to investigate foreign interference in Russian elections
On August 19, Russia’s State Duma Council interrupted its recess to hold an emergency hearing on alleged foreign interference in Russian government affairs, including election proceedings. According to Interfax, that hearing has resulted in the creation of a special 12-person commission to investigate foreign interference. The new body is expected to begin its operations almost immediately.
Andrey Isayev, a high-ranking official in the ruling United Russia party, announced the Duma Council’s plans to create the commission in advance and indicated that interference in Russia’s election campaigns would be the body’s first priority. He added that the Duma would not rule out making “any necessary legislative changes” following the commission’s investigation.
In an August 8 hearing of the Federation Council, prosecutorial manager Artur Zavalunov told Russian senators that three foreign organizations have attempted to affect election results in the country: the Atlantic Council, an American think tank; the Free Russia Foundation, also of the U.S.; and the Canada-based Ukrainian World Congress. All three organizations are classified as “undesirable” in Russia.