FORMS AND METHODS
OF RUSSIAN HYBRID WARFARE AGAINST UKRAINE1
Vitaliy YURCHUK, PhD
Annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014 and its further aggression in Eastern Ukraine demonstrated the ability of Moscow to effectively use modern instruments of hybrid warfare to achieve its geopolitical goals. At present the Russian Federation has been active in the creation of satellite states in Eastern European to destabilize the situation in the southeast part of Ukraine and the region as a whole and to create obstacles to further development of the EU and NATO that threatens regional and global security.
Keywords: aggression of the Russian Federation, the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, hybrid warfare, satellite states, aggressive policy of Hungary, the Hungarian national minority
At present there are no signs on the refusal of the Russian struggle for the return of Ukraine in times of imperialism and attempts to undermine the situation in Europe and in particular its Central-Eastern part that threatens regional security. Under these conditions, special attention should be paid to working out mechanisms to counteract hybrid warfare instruments of the Russian Federation. Developing effective mechanisms requires consideration of several factors:
Despite massive investments of Moscow in the development and use of hybrid instruments of war, the Kremlin’s resources are not unlimited. Therefore, Russia will try to use the most vulnerable places in political life in foreign countries. For example, in the near future Moscow could take a number of information campaigns in some EU countries that oppose the admission of refugees in their territories and thereby sharpen the debate around the future of the European Union and simultaneously deflect attention of international organization from the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Despite the fact that Ukraine has become a testing ground for Russia’s advanced methods of hybrid and conventional warfare, the Kremlin’s interests cover also other countries and international organizations. By its actions Russia is trying to divide and weaken NATO, to undermine the confidence of the EU citizens to the international organization, to enforce its access to European markets on its own terms and create conditions for the promotion of Russian imperialism creeping westward. However, the future of the European Union and NATO, global and regional security depends on stabilization of the situation in Ukraine and consequently on return of the temporarily occupied territories. International support for Ukraine to counter the Russian aggression must constantly be on the agenda of the democratic European community and other international organizations. Ukraine needs further foreign assistance, particularly in the form of continued political and economic sanctions against Russia until the complete liberation of temporarily occupied territories. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be seen in the modern world as subject to bargaining.
Strategy of Russian hybrid warfare is not new but most adapted to the conditions of the XXI century and continues to vary according to response of foreign governments. This fact requires constant analysis of the Kremlin’s operations and processing analytical forecasts of potential further actions of the Russian Federation to destabilize regional and global security. Prerequisite for effective response to the Kremlin’s intentions should be proactive actions thus avoiding potential threats to move into an active phase.
1 The Paper has been presented at GeoPolitica Club Café, Siret, May 27, 2017
Center for Studies of Regional and International Cooperation Issues, Lviv, Ucraina