On Wednesday, May 15, a story appeared on a Ukrainian website, Elise Journal, claiming that outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is preparing for a third round of presidential elections.
The report claimed that Ukraine’s parliament would seek to allow Poroshenko to stay in power by not setting an inauguration date for president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, allowing Poroshenko to then announce a third round of voting.
The report outlines a theoretical legal scheme under the law “On the Election of the President of Ukraine,” through which it would be possible for Poroshenko to maintain power.
“Such a plan is being worked out in the (Ukrainian) Presidential Administration, and if it goes forward, civil war could break out,” wrote the author, who identifies himself as Vladimir Kovalenko.
The article quickly began trending on the Russian-language internet sphere. The Mediametrics.ru analysis showed that the article was trending in the Russian social networks for the 24 hours following its publication, holding a sixth position in the intersection of “countries” “social networks” “regions” and “24 hours." This was after the inauguration date had been announced:
The article was later shared on a website called bbcccnn.org, which is followed by nearly 1.75 million people on Facebook. The article received a strong level of interaction on the popular social media platform.
The article’s claim, however, is false.
The following day, the Ukrainian parliament set Zelenskiy’s inauguration to be held at 10:00 a.m. (local time) on May 20.
Zelenskiy had previously sought a May inauguration, which could give him a mandate to dissolve parliament and call for a snap election.
At the time of publication, Elise Journal had not issued a retraction or an update or taken down the story.
Many, if not most, of the stories posted under the author section for Kavlenko are of an alarmist nature, accusing Poroshenko of multiple offenses, including theft, corruption and genocide.
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• Journalist: “If our servicemen learn about this information, they will tear it to pieces” (PHOTO)
• It’s begun! Poroshenko and members of his group are revealed. Criminal cases are initiated. What's happening? (PHOTO)
• Poroshenko gave the order: "Destroy all the evidence of the Maidan" (VIDEO, PHOTO)
Elise Journal, which says it is not a mass media organization, disavows responsibility for the content posted on its site.
Polygraph.info has discovered the Elise Journal appears to be masking its IP address. It ostensibly operates out of Gunzenhausen, Germany, but in fact is registered to a home on Nasypnaya Street on Uzhhorod, Ukraine.
The home in question is close to a Ukrainian National Guard facility.
Polygraph.info sought more information and comment from the Elise Journal, at it’s website but had not received a response at the time of publication.
While the above story appears to not have been widely republished, it fits into a broader Russian-state media narrative that sought to discredit Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election.
For example, Polygraph.info has previously reported that Russian state TV claimed Poroshenko would falsify the election to remain in power.