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The early twenty-first century in the region of Eastern Europe was a historical moment which saw unprecedented political tension and strife in post-Soviet states. This phenomenon was particularly evident in the Ukrainian Presidential election of 2004 which can be characterized by a dichotomy of ideological polarity between traditionalist tyranny of Russia and contemporary democracy of the West. Though to understand this conflict further it is critical to understand the actors at play: Viktor Yuschenko who was heavily backed both ideologically and monetarily by the United States and Viktor Yanukovych who received extensive support from Russia and the Kremlin. This election was also one that was very concretely divided across geopolitical lines, and in many ways can be seen as an internal strife between Eastern and Western Ukraine. While this election is certainly one that has been studied extensively by scholars, it seems as if there is insufficient research being conducted on the role that foreign interference played in deciding the outcome of the election. Furthermore, additional insight into the larger motives of these state actors can be gained through analysis of data containing primary texts and documents through a lens that identifies such actors as purveyors of disinformation and false/misleading narratives. This paper will analyze several instances of the Russian’s revival of KGB style persuasion tactics employed to bolster the image of Yanukovych at the expense of Yuschenko. This case study will then be able to add a unique dimension to the preexisting field of disinformation studies.



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Russian Intervention in Foreign Elections: Implications in the 2004 Ukrainian Presidential Election