Ukraine ramps up fight against Russia’s hybrid war

Analysis & Opinion

Russia’s information warfare against Ukraine goes back years before the 2014 Euromaidan revolution. But the country has only begun to take the threat seriously in the past few years. According to experts, combating the Kremlin’s hybrid war will take serious reforms.

Hybrid war has been a buzzword surrounding Ukraine for more than three years. But the country has dealt with its effects for longer than that.

YULIIA LAPUTINA, DEPUTY CHIEF OF CYBER DEFENCE AT THE SBU:

In 2007 a fund was created by Russian presidential decree. It was founded by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science and Education. The source of financing was the state budget of Russia. From 2008 to 2012, the foundation established more than 10 “Russian centers” in Ukraine. Their locations are telling: Sevastopol, Simferopol, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Odesa. Their leaders had known anti-Ukrainian positions.

Officials from Ukraine’s Security Service, also known as the SBU, say that people connected to Russia’s hybrid war often go unpunished.

DMYTRO TYMCHUK, MEMBER OF UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT:

And then the question arises in the interested public: “Why are these comrades not in prison?” Everyone remembers how he ran around with the Russian flag, shouting “Putin, send troops!” Law enforcement officers and intelligence services worked on these cases, but when it came to courts, judges made very strange and curious decisions.

Ukrainian political scientists argue that, to fully combat Russia’s hybrid war on all fronts, intense reforms need to be implemented. Some say that should include giving the SBU broader powers.

MYKHAILO MAKARUK, PRESS SECRETARY OF A MILITARY BLOG:

The intelligence services can’t do anything with domestic separatism or media that conduct anti-Ukrainian activities. We need a number of legislative changes. Firstly, ones concerning information security and the work of the SBU. We’ve taken part in drafting a bill to address collaboration with separatists.

They add that Ukraine can help the international community combat hybrid war.

OLEKSANDR KURBAN, UKRAINIAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST:

I think it’s time to raise the issue of classifying the information war on the same level as weapons of mass destruction. We need to develop the appropriate regulatory and legal acts. Ukraine has the right to come out with these initiatives on the world stage. Because we are ahead of the whole planet. Unfortunately, we have rich experience in this issue.

HANNA MALYAR, LAWYER:

Before the war in Ukraine, the world viewed the concept of “preparing and planning for war” only on a military scale — the use of weapons and invasion of territory. There was no legal assessment of the informational aspect. But that’s one of Russia’s key tools. And Moscow should be held criminally responsible.

To work with international partners on combating the hybrid war, Ukraine is planning to create an institute on strategic information. The body will allow ministries to work together to collect and share information regarding Russia’s hybrid tactics to the world.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • zorbatheturk

    I think many Ukrainians would be surprised at the amount of RuSSian trolling and disinformation present on western media outlets. It is like a plague of rats. There has never been anything like it.

    • Scradje

      Yes. However, the trumpoids and farageistas are even worse than the paid savushkina turdarses. Bitter losers with no tertiary education clog up western comments forums with repulsive comments gloating at the death and misery inflicted on innocents by their fuehrer putler. Some of them no doubt have purchased one of putler’s mail order brides in an attempt to boost the kremtroll breeding programme. The Daily Mail and MOS blogger, Peter Hitchens, puts out an average of one pro-putler piece every week and has been doing so for many years. As a result he has a dedicated following of representatives of this new malevolent life-form. Also see comments on infowars for more of this slurry.

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    In any real democracy there have always been cases of discrepancies between the rights of the individual and the need to find true justice. This in turn can become even more complicated when unscrupulous lawyers find technical loopholes in the law or especially in the cases where corrupt judges are involved. So how can these problems be circumvented, at least on a temporary basis, until laws can be changed, corrupt judges removed or possible constitutional amendments implemented? Marshal law has been mentioned in the case of Ukraine but its overall scope could prove to be highly controversial except for an immediate war zone. Perhaps certain aspects of marshal law could be introduced where it clearly applied to aiding and abetting the enemy (Kremlin subterfuge) and being far more strict in allowing bail for those accused of a treasonous act against the state. In any case, there are times when fire must be fought with fire and in Ukraine’s dealings with Putin the time to act is now.

  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSia should be disconnected from the Internet for a day. Probably 90% of comments would disappear from many media forums.