International experts at the 2020 All-Russian Voting in Russia
In order to have a possibility to stay in power until 2036, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided, in January 2020, to change the Constitution of the Russian Federation and legitimise its change through the “all-Russian voting”.
A new legal framework for the vote was created, which became officially known as “the all-Russian voting on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation”.
Russia’s Central Election Committee did not invite any official international observers from established organisations such as the OSCE ODIHR or PACE, because international observation is envisioned only by Russian federal laws on parliamentary and presidential elections, while international observation was not included in the legal framework of the “all-Russian voting”. However, as the Russian authority had done before, they invited – through the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation – 75 foreign individuals who would officially be called “international experts” and be ready to praise any electoral process in Russia as democratic, open, free and fair. Russian authorities never published a list of the “international experts” they invited to “observe” the voting process, but we have identified 52 such individuals using OSINT methods (9 in annexed Crimea, 43 in Russia).