Russia’s Information Expansion: Ukrainian Foothold, Mykhailo Pashkov (Razumkov Centre, Ukraine)

The three year hybrid war between Russia and Ukraine that started in February 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and is still going on in Donbas is not a second rate conflict on the periphery of Europe. This war poses a threat not only to Ukraine and its statehood, but also to the West, in particular, the unity of the EU, and Europe’s political structure. Europeans turned out to be critically vulnerable to both, internal problems and Kremlin’s “hybrid” power policy, the main component of which is powerful information expansion. Today, it is already not about just “fending off Western influence” in the post Soviet space – “zone of Kremlin’s privileged interests”, it is about a wide scale hybrid expansion on the EU territory with the goal of ultimate weakening/fragmenting (breaking apart) of the European Union, and reformatting the established European political system according to Russia’s plan. All of this is happening against the background of total depreciation of global and regional security structures.

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This is a section in Information Warfare – New Security Challenge for Europe (Tomáš Čižik (ed.), Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs)