“It is my strong belief that for our victory in the war, waged by Russia against Ukraine and the world, all of us – each Ukrainian and the state apparatus – should know and clearly understand the phenomenon, its scale and level of threat which was faced by Ukraine”, states Andriy Parubiy in his column for ” Ukrayinska Pravda“.
We must know the enemy.
We must know ourselves.
And we must know a space in which antagonism occurring.
Ukraine is at war, and the undeclared war being waged by Russia against us, is defined as “hybrid”, “non-linear” or “war of controlled chaos.” Such kind of war combines military, information, terrorist and other aggressive actions, coordinated from the center to achieve certain strategic objectives. The aim of this war is the complete subordination of Ukraine to Kremlin’s new-empire expansionist plans.
Content, nature and characteristics of this kind of war are substantially different from the traditional models of previous wars. Experts are talking about the so-called controlled chaos war.
In the geopolitical coordinates system the entity of the controlled chaos war is a geopolitical destruction of the state-victim, neutralizing its geopolitical characteristics – the size of the territory, population, the status of the state in the world, economic opportunities, military power, and the total potential.
In conditions of such a war in the state-victim or in some of its regions certain political processes are initiated, which essentially are the stages of the controlled chaos strategy. The true role, place, and purpose of the aggressor state are derived from the public eye, hidden behind “garbage information” and demagoguery.
In general, the controlled chaos or the hybrid war involves three stages:
• Loosening of the situation in the victim-state and, through the crisis, inspiration of domestic conflict.
• Degradation, destruction and disintegration of the country to convert it to a so-called “incompetent” state.
• Change of the political power for the one, which will be fully controlled by the aggressor.
Ukraine directly faced with this phenomenon for the first time. At the same time, military experts are familiar with this type of warfare known for quite a long time.
The problem, in its modernist understanding, began to be developed in 1960-70 years in the Eugene Messner’s works on the “rebellion-wars” – the former colonel of the General Staff of the Russian tsarist army.
He, in particular, wrote: “In previous wars the important issue was the territory conquest. Henceforth, the most important will be the subjection of souls in the state of interest. Fight be held not in a two-dimensional surface like before, not in three-dimensional space, as it was during the days of the military aviation emergence, but in four dimensional, where warring nations psyche is the fourth dimension … “; “The fight by rebels, saboteurs, terrorists, propagandists will play a great role in future.”
Obviously, it was a purpose of the Kremlin, when it began a hidden war against Ukraine in the Crimea, as well as fomenting instability in the eastern and southern regions of our country.
It was back in 2004, when Pentagon stated that hybrid wars may be held by China, North Korea, Iran and Russia.
In this new war, the bet was made on the use of the civilian population for the discharge of mass hysteria and resistance of lawful authority, as well as using them as “human shields” to cover armed militants.
At the same time in media component plays almost the main role for the formation of the “correct”, from the aggressor point of view, representation of the victim, is much more important in this war than getting a real victory. Killing enemy soldiers ceased to be the main goal – in a hybrid war is enough to kill own soldiers and ensure the required information support.
During this kind of war, the aggressor ascribes victim actions that makes itself. In accordance to Orwell – a victim in the eyes of consumers of information is transformed into the aggressor, and the aggressor – in just an avenger. In fact, information contamination is carried out.
The main target of the hybrid war is not the enemy but the population that is being “exempt.” The goal and the method of such a war – the motivation of citizens to betray their state and support the aggressor.
Also all the means for forming the preferable for invader picture of events in the perception of the international community are involved.
Irregularity of such kind of war is in bringing the informal doers by the aggressor state – “polite men”, “volunteers”, who, in fact, are commonplace mercenaries and local traitors. They will not obey the international law and just doing the “dirty work”.
An important characteristic of the hybrid war is the active use of asymmetric warfare, which are characterized by a significant difference in military strength and the strategies and tactics of the parties involved.
Such a scheme of warfare is extremely difficult to deal with because there is no formal reason to fight with the aggressor country, which is only informally (but overactive) support the militants and terrorists.
So today, there are extensive agents of the Russian intelligence, the Russian commandos and mercenaries in the East of our country. And Russia supports them with weapons and new fighters, is shelling our positions from its territory.
In an undeclared war against Ukraine Russia actively uses methods of information-psychological war, trying to destroy the morale of the troops and the civilian population of our country.
The so-called “journalists” of Russian channels LifeNews, Russia Today, etc. are “dual-use arms”, making the formation of the “right image” for propaganda purposes and intelligence-subversive function as agents of the Russian Federation.
Russian military experts and scientists have worked on this for a long time and developed deeply the theme of information and information-psychological warfare.
In particular, the Russian scientist, graduated from the Academy of the Federal Security Service, Manoylo, fundamentally explores a phenomenon of modern information warfare in the book “State Information Policy in special circumstances”.
The author defines the status of a new war, as follows “Information-psychological war […] at the moment is the most dangerous form of social […] warfare carried out by violent means and ways to influence the information-psychological sphere of the opponent for the strategic objectives “.
Here are a few more common, among experts, definitions relating to information warfare as an integral component of a hybrid war:
Information warfare – is targeted actions to ensure the information superiority by changing the information, information processes and systems of the enemy, while ensuring the protection of own information, information processes and information systems. One of the components of the information war is the “information-psychological component” (information and psychological warfare) and “cyberwarfare» (cybernetic warfare).
Information and psychological warfare – is aimed at the implementation of a certain impact on the military and the civilian population of the country – an object of influence through the dissemination of the information provided in the information and psychological operations.
Cyberwarfare – an integral part of information warfare aimed at harming or destroying the enemy’s information infrastructure (including hardware and software) through accessing a specified infrastructure, including the method of unauthorized access.
Information weapons – a set of technical and other means, methods and technologies, which is determined not only by its own properties, but the characteristics of the object against which it is applied. Information weapons – a concept that integrates all means of influence on the basis of any society – information.
For understanding the policies and actions of the enemy, it is advisable to specify the main approaches to the implementation of the information war.
RF experts define the information warfare as a confrontation between the states in the information space with the purpose of causing harm to information systems, processes and resources, critical structures, undermining the political, economic and social systems, as well as a massive psychological manipulation of the population in order to destabilize society and the state.
In the basic training manual for the security forces of the Russian Federation there are such statements:
– The main form of information warfare activities are secret information and psychological operations carried out by the controlled information impact on individual, group or mass consciousness, will of citizens of another country, their feelings, misinformation subjects of political, economic and other management decisions, the implementation of erosion of trust to opponent’s information infrastructure and the media in these countries;
– The purpose of these activities is the implementation of a negative impact on the mind and the system of knowledge and perceptions of the target country and the formation of the desired information influence beyond its borders;
– To implement these steps, reconnaissance and information center must be launched and it should operate in the real-time conditions;
– Combat operations must precede the ability to provide rapid incapacitation infrastructure of political and economic control of the enemy, as well as communication systems and electronic warfare;
– An important component of modern warfare (not only information one) is the moral factor. Creating a system of moral and psychological training of the Russian Federation soilders and the development of algorithms for the erosion of the enemy morale – the decisive factors in modern warfare.
Target objects is then determined as follows:
– Information infrastructure of the state;
– Consciousness, will and feelings of soldiers and various sections of the civilian population, especially during the election period and crisis situations;
– Management decision-making systems in the political, economic, social, scientific and technical fields, and in the sphere of security and defense of the country;
– Critically minded contingent (the opposition, dissidents, criminals, etc.) as a means of strengthening the crisis in the society of the enemy.
Ukrainian experts define a number of threats to Ukraine in the context of information warfare:
Military action against Ukraine accompanied by massive information and psychological operations and cyber operations.
Latent (hidden, network) measures of the enemy. At a certain stabilization of the situation and false statements about the peaceful regulation of the war, the Russian Federation is actively using the religious factor.
There are many eyewitness accounts of the speeches (sermons) priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patrimony (UOC-MP) about “militias-heroes “, a “holy war” and “Kiev junta” not only in the Donets region, but also in Sumy and Chernihiv.
Separate direction, which is actively used, is the spread of rumors. As a tool to disseminate serve not only the individual active person, Russian TV, but also the news reports that are submitted in the written press, postcards and programs of local cable operators.
Informational-propaganda structures on the territory of Ukraine (news agencies, publishing, IT-structure group of bloggers, etc.), which for some time have not demonstrated their pro-Russian position, are trying to form a destructive (panic, depression) mood in Ukraine. “Without Russia we have nowhere to escape”, “Russia will swallow us”, etc., create a negative trend with respect to Ukraine, while a positive trend with respect to Russia’s actions.
Inadequate implementation of the necessary measures: the internal nature of the threats is to resist the inherited bureaucratic system that does not meet the challenges of the time.
Massive cyberwar. It should be noted that in 2004, Russian Defense Minister announced the beginning of the development of empowerment of the cyber war and bringing to implement this strategy, the leading IT-companies, research and educational institutions in the United States example.
Russian structures involved in the cyber warfare, disguised as “anonymous hackers”, individuals and organizations (“CyberBerkut”, Anonymous).
Own capacity and reserves of Ukraine that should be involved:
Among the factors that enhance a successful response and increase the effectiveness of the Ukraine in the hybrid war in the context of information warfare, we can highlight the following:
- General patriotic enthusiasm. Examples of heroic deeds of military, National Guard, soldiers and volunteer battalions, financial assistance of the local residents and from all regions of Ukraine to Ukrainian soldiers, the funds collected for the army, are evidence not only of the patriotism, but also demonstrate the possibility of large self-organization of the population.
- Strategic management. Individual situation centers creation (and the involvement of existing ones), both public and governmental, will allow us to respond rapidly to changing military and political situation.
Building a system of situational governance as a network will maintain the stability and continuity of management in terms of total and intense aggression from Russia.
The main condition is to perform qualification of personnel, the presence of horizontal connections with the structures of other law enforcement agencies and the introduction of national standards for the provision and maintenance of information.
- An effective information policy. Namely, everyday context, strategic direction and feedback from the community.
This trend is already being implemented, in particular, on the basis of two partnership integrated information platform: Civil – in the format of the Ukrainian Crisis Media-Center (UKMTS), and the state one – Information-Analytical Center of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC IAC).
We need to understand – only overall civil resistance to Russian aggression will lead us to victory. In the struggle for Ukraine, all of us – government agencies and independent media, free journalists, all Ukrainian citizens – should be a united front.
- The presence of a large number of trained military and civilian personnel, in particular in the field of information, including training programs for NATO and other Western countries.
- Significant resource base, in particular, production and deployment of information infrastructure in the interests of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other security agencies.
Changes in the geopolitical situation should be used to attract experienced advisors and specialists to conduct information warfare and military network operations (Net Centric Warfare). Attracting the advisors to the preparation and transformation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces military units will let avoiding mistakes and rapidly rise to the level of modern military organization.
Going to the confrontation with the West in the Ukrainian question, Moscow relied on the active undermining of the internal contradictions of “traditional” alliances such as the EU and NATO.
In addition, the rulers of Russia is given the confidence by the corrupt schemes of financial flows within the framework of the “new commercial relations” with a number of leading nominally “Western” companies that actually run by the Kremlin.
Civilized world should realize that Ukraine might not be the latest victim of the imperial revanchist plans of Moscow about the “Russian world” and reformatting of the European and global security architecture under the Kremlin’s wishes.
Our neighbors, the former Soviet republics such as Estonia and Latvia, where there are a large number of Russian-speaking population, also had the opportunity to feel the insidious methods of Russian hybrid war. Also should not be excluded the possibility of Russia attempts to destabilize the situation in these countries in order to create “independent” pro-Russian enclaves (Narva, Tartu, Riga).
Realizing that further unhindered advance of Chisinau by the European integration pathway will finally withdraw Moldova from the zone of Russian influence, Kremlin could strengthen the “soft” diplomatic and “hard” pressure from the territory of Transnistria.
Even a close alliance with Russia does not guarantee anything. Statements made by some Russian politicians on the rights of the Russian Federation on the northern regions of Kazakhstan can be heard more and more often. President of Belarus has also something to think about while planning the next steps.
Ukrainian army wins in the East of the country demonstrate that we quickly learned how to effectively deal with the enemy, even in the most difficult conditions of the hybrid war.
Introduction of the third level of sanctions indicates that foreign Putin’s plan failed.
As a thousand years ago, Ukraine has again become a shield for the European civilization.
Today Ukraine is an example of a successful response to Putin’s imperial aggression. We will throw bandits, aliens and traitors away from our land. We will return our native Ukrainian Crimea from Moscow exile into a single family.
Gaining the victory over the enemy in a hybrid war is only possible with the national cohesion and mobilizing the whole society to fight against the insidious enemy. Clear and coordinated actions of the security forces should neutralize terrorist and criminal groups, foreign intelligence network and resource base of the aggressor on the territory of Ukraine.
We will also win the information war, coherently, intelligently and systematically. It will give us invaluable experience, new skills. Ukraine will become much stronger.
By combining and improving the two components of our struggle – military power and information, we will return the native Donbas peaceful life, safety and well-being under the protection of the Ukrainian state.
We will stop Putin for Peace in Ukraine and the world. Ukraine will gain the victory!
Andriy Parubiy, ex-Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine.
Source: Ukrayinska Pravda.