Russian watchdog slams meddling in local elections by U.S. mass media

Russia’s telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Sunday that it had established facts of the distribution of political advertising on Google, Facebook and YouTube on Russia’s election day.

These actions can be considered as “interference in the sovereign affairs” of Russia and obstructing the holding of democratic elections in the country, the watchdog said in a statement.

“Such actions by foreign companies are unacceptable,” it added.

Both Russian parliamentary houses will look into data on interference in the elections by foreign companies, according to Russian media reports.

Earlier on Friday, Roskomnadzor warned Google and Facebook against distribution of political advertising concerning the country’s local elections.

On Sunday, over 5,000 elections of different levels were held in 85 Russian regions and cities, including heads of federal subjects, members of legislatures, governors and members of city councils, as well as representative bodies and municipalities. By-elections were also held in the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament.