War & Conflict |Explainer

Russia changes the rules of warfare, perfecting ‘hybrid war’

  1. Hybrid warfare isn't new but recent intensity is
  2. Former NATO leader: "We have all experienced some form of hybrid warfare and now is the time to fight back."
  3. Russian general: "Wars no longer ... follow the pattern that we are accustomed to"

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Ingrid Strauch

"Hi John, oh - I am not to invite anyb..."
JM

Jonathan Miller

"Hi Ingrid, working on it!"
john Bestevaar

john Bestevaar

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IS

Ingrid Strauch

"Hi, Michael, John, what makes wiki..."

Russia under Vladimir Putin has become a leading exponent of military and non-military tactics to launch what would otherwise be war — a concept known as “hybrid war” – from the invasion of Crimea, to social media misinformation and apparently the use of chemical weapons in Britain.

Russia’s hybrid strategy combines military force and more subtle tactics designed to thwart the ambitions of rivals, according to Russian military officials and Western analysts who watch Moscow. Tactics deployed include the use of conventional and special military operations; propaganda; economic and diplomatic pressure; and assassinations.

At its heart is often a certain deniability – such as the “little green men” who appeared in Crimea and Ukraine without military identification but were clearly deployed by Russia. That’s a military manifestation of the hybrid strategy along with the use of pro-Russian militias to destabilize eastern Ukraine, not to mention the universal conclusion of American security agencies that Russia used social media and other non-lethal tactics to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections.

“The beauty of the Putin strategy is that it is tailored to individual countries, in particular individual ways. There isn’t one strategy for everyone,” said Jonathan Eyal, associate director at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a security think tank.

“The purpose is the same: to keep the security situation in Europe fluid enough in order to allow Russia room for maneuver … It is in order to keep everyone on their toes,” Eyal told WikiTribune.

Experts and UK politicians say the attempted assassination of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil on March 4 fits a pattern of Russian hybrid interference in the region, but also marks a stepping up in the risks Moscow may be prepared to expose itself to in terms of retaliation.

On March 14, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK will expel 23 undeclared Kremlin intelligence officers, among other measures. RUSI Deputy Director-General Malcolm Chalmers said the expulsion of 23 out of 58 UK-based Russian diplomats was “very significant”.

See related stories on WikiTribune and by all means, add your own or say what’s missing:

Story continues below.

Unidentified soldiers, known colloquially as "little green men", on patrol at Simferopol Airport in Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Source: Elizabeth Arrott, Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons
Unidentified soldiers, known colloquially as “little green men,” on patrol at Simferopol Airport in Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. Source: Elizabeth Arrott, Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

Hybrid war undeclared but very real

American author and military analyst Frank Hoffman defined the term “hybrid warfare” (ICDS) in 2007, although the concept had already been in use since 2005.

“‘Hybrid Wars’ blend the lethality of state conflict with the fanatical and protracted fervor of irregular warfare,” Hoffman wrote in a 2007 paper for the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, an independent research institute in Arlington, Virginia.

Russian general and current Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, Valery Gerasimov, later expanded on the idea, writing in 2013: “In the twenty-first century we have seen a tendency toward blurring the lines between the states of war and peace. Wars are no longer declared and, having begun, proceed according to an unfamiliar template” (Original in Russian).

Although Gerasimov was talking about the changing nature of war in the 21st century, with an eye on confronting the concept of the Arab Spring and the “color revolutions” in Ukraine, Georgia, and the Balkans where Russia saw the hand of the United States and European Union in stirring pro-democracy elements. Western analysts began to treat his essay as the Kremlin’s hybrid warfare playbook following Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, according to The Financial Times (may be behind a paywall).

Other countries or non-state actors, like China (The Economist), the so-called Islamic State, and Hezbollah may deploy elements of hybrid strategies. But under Putin, Russia has expanded their scope and increased the use (The Economist), making them “a key dimension in the overall increase in Russian military capabilities,” according to a 2017 paper published by the RAND Corporation, a global policy think-tank partly financed by the U.S. government.

In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Hoffman expanded his definition: “Sophisticated campaigns that combine low-level conventional and special operations; offensive cyber and space actions; and psychological operations that use social and traditional media to influence popular perception and international opinion.”

Old tune, new lyrics

Recently, hybrid warfare has included cyber attacks to cripple key infrastructure, theft of information, and the spread of misinformation; and fostering internal opposition to “create a permanent front in the entire territory of the opposing state,” according to Gerasimov.

Speaking to WikiTribune under the condition of anonymity, a retired senior military official described Russian hybrid warfare as “war below the line.” The Kremlin engages in complex campaigns that take place without crossing a military line compelling the nation or entity under attack to respond.

Russia’s objective, according to the same official, is to get away with everything it can until the target responds more vigorously, usually with a show of military force.

Russia employs hybrid methods of intervention that fall “below the threshold that would necessitate a conventional [military] response from our part,” said Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, director of the Paris office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), an American public policy think tank that promotes cooperation between North America and Europe. “In the NATO context, hybrid warfare is below Article 5,” she said, referring to the organization’s principle of collective defense which states that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all.

Prime Minister May came close to invoking that NATO clause when she told parliament earlier this week that should Russia fail to respond to an ultimatum to explain how a USSR-created nerve agent was used in the attempted assassination of Skripal, which also severely injured his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, “we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.”

The Kremlin did not respond to May’s March 13 deadline and strongly denies any involvement.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on March 15, former NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said activating Article 5 would be “disproportionate” but argued for further strengthening “selected direct sanctions” against individuals surrounding Putin and extending the duration of existing sanctions against the country.

“Whether cyber attacks in Denmark, assassinations in Salisbury, stirring up fears of immigrants in Central Europe, or election interference in Italy — these are all part of a wider strategy,” said Rasmussen. “We have all experienced some form of hybrid warfare and now is the time to fight back.”

How Russia uses hybrid warfare

Liudas Zdanavicius, a lecturer at the Military Academy of Lithuania, says the differences between Russia’s current and previous hybrid campaigns include the increased intensity with which the country is pursuing its goals and new technologies at its disposal that allow it to do so more effectively.

“The best case [study], of course, in the last years is Ukraine,” he told WikiTribune. “[What] we see in 2015 and 2014 is just a result of much longer years of preparation, with the propaganda, the infiltration, and other measures,” including the use of state-sponsored cyber attacks on target nations’ critical infrastructure (JSIS).

Apart from the Ukraine, Russia has been accused of deploying cyber attacks against the Baltic states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – where it has disputes over Russian minorities, their closeness to NATO and their determination to deepen links with the European Union.

“The hybrid tactic (is) to try to destabilize a country or society from within” – Defense analyst

Russian hybrid warfare, or “interference,” can vary enormously in methods and objectives, depending on the country being targeted, said the GMF’s de Hoop Scheffer. Electoral interference, cyber attacks, the weaponization of energy policy, and the spreading of misinformation via social media and propaganda outlets are all part of Russia’s hybrid warfare playbook, she said.

“Maybe warfare is a word that has been used too much … I would call that hybrid interference, rather than warfare, interfere in all aspects of our society,” de Hoop Scheffer said. “It can be politics, it can be the economy, the energy sector, and it can in our daily lives.”

De Hoop Scheffer believes the attempted assassination of the Skripals fits Russia’s pattern of hybrid conflict: “It’s destabilization but from within … And that’s part of the hybrid tactic, to try to destabilize a country or society from within by using local communities or by using our internal vulnerabilities.”

“After all, if the sole purpose was to kill this individual, then they could have taken out a contract with organized crime and [have him killed] with a bullet to the head, or indeed a car crash, or a so-called heart attack,” RUSI’s Malcolm Chalmers told WikiTribune. “Instead they’ve used a banned chemical weapon in a public place which is bound to create fear in the wider community and the Russian community here, and in all likelihood would be attributed to the Russian state.”

These relatively new tools make it difficult for Western governments to formulate an effective, comprehensive strategy to counter hybrid campaigns. But Zdanavicius suggests two approaches: tackling “real fake news” head on; and promoting societal transparency and efficiency while combatting corruption.

“Which country is more resilient?” he asks rhetorically. “Corrupt, weak, with high social inequality and ethnic tensions? Or the country which has a successful development project?”

 

Related stories:


Sources & References

Further reading and information on the concept of hybrid war:


Started by

United Kingdom
George Engels is a staff journalist and producer at WikiTribune. He has a background in history and philosophy and a strong interest in international politics and security, and social affairs. His work has been published by The Sunday Times, The Camden New Journal, The West End Extra and the Islington Tribune.

History for stories "Russia changes the rules of warfare, perfecting ‘hybrid war’"

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04 April 2018

18:22:24, 04 Apr 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → fixed italics)

03 April 2018

04:46:58, 03 Apr 2018 . .‎ Jonathan Miller (Updated → added transcript of March 2017 Chivvis presentation)

29 March 2018

17:35:54, 29 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added one link to S&R)

24 March 2018

18:01:05, 24 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ingrid Strauch (Updated → Gerasimov: Engl. transl. linked, quotation adjusted)

21 March 2018

14:29:03, 21 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → updated with BoJo hybrid war reference)

18 March 2018

20:37:40, 18 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Adding more substantial reference block)

16 March 2018

17:25:20, 16 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → adding related articles)
11:19:58, 16 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Adding tags)
11:19:40, 16 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Adding further reading in the sources and references)

15 March 2018

09:28:39, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → removed line)
09:28:14, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → funky formatting)
08:33:14, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added a line about evidence)
08:29:05, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → minor detail)
08:21:37, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added a date)
08:04:22, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → deleted part of sentence)
07:57:23, 15 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → updated with rasmussen)

14 March 2018

20:15:14, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added description of RAND corp)
20:12:20, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → minor language mod)
20:08:32, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added some detail and links to second section and tempered lede)
18:20:24, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added tags)
17:23:10, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ Chuck Thompson (Updated → copy edit)
17:00:15, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → updated with RUSI quotes)
13:26:10, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → moved comma around)
11:52:28, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → minor quotation correcting n)
11:46:08, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → mineir)
11:24:31, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → minor edit)
11:23:35, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → added link)
11:21:31, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → minor edits)
11:09:29, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Publishing PGB)
10:41:25, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → )
07:21:26, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → minor edits)
00:55:07, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ Chuck Thompson (Updated → hed tweak)
00:41:49, 14 Mar 2018 . .‎ Chuck Thompson (Updated → copyedit)

13 March 2018

19:34:46, 13 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → fixed formatting)
16:41:14, 13 Mar 2018 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → updated draft)

Talk for Story "Russia changes the rules of warfare, perfecting ‘hybrid war’"

Talk about this Story

  1. Rewrite

    I think what many of the commenters miss here is the change in targets.

    Of course we know that the Cold War was full of proxy wars, but the major players never attacked each other. What we have in the last 2 years is the willingness of the Russian government to direct attacks openly against other superpowers.

    I don’t think I need to point out the risks if this were to be escalated in kind. Especially in the field of cyber attacks.

  2. Other

    It’s kind of fine if we take it (and mark it) as an ‘opinion’ article, just a food for thought, so to say. And if there would be other similar articles on other issues like that, not only incriminating Russia (although I believe such articles like this are quite dangerous in a time when we’re closing to a nuclear war as they’re building up the momentum and support allegations and conspiracy theories of all kinds).

    For example, covering the US policy of overthrowing governments that has been proved in many countries and is clearly their strategy and way of their ‘hybrid war’ would be a logical step, if such articles are considered OK for WikiTribune. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change

    Still, these days it’s not ‘cool’ to talk about crimes of Western countries all over the world, like Israel or Saudi Arabia, so everyone’s only obsessed with picturing Russia as the Evil of the world. Sad – hoped for more critical thinking and objectivity here.

    1. Rewrite

      To me Wikitribune and the contributors just confirm how it is almost impossible to overcome one’s inherent confirmation bias.

      1. Rewrite

        Hi, Michael, John,

        what makes wikitribune so fascinating to me is it’s collaborative journalism approach. Why don’t you simply enhance the story with the aspects or positions that are missing?

        The faq has phased it well:
        “Is it actually possible to be completely impartial?
        No human being can ever be perfect. But we’re a community of many human beings, which will take much of the edge off people’s individual biases. And regardless of whether perfection is achievable, it’s still possible to be closer to it than other ways of working.”
        https://www.wikitribune.com/faqs-neutrality/

        1. Rewrite

          Hi Ingrid. Thank you for your invitation but the reason i comment is that i cannot write. Sometimes i try a short piece on PB and it always gets completely ignored. No likes ,no arguments, no nothing.

          1. Rewrite

            Hi John, oh – I am not to invite anybody, because I am just a community member (and a journalistic laywoman). I had just shared a thought of mine.

            I think, there is still the possibility to give reference to a source that you consider necessary to be included in the article, in form of a comment. Maybe, another community member who is fitter in journalistic writing will pick up your suggestion. If not, at least the source is being documented for the interested reader of the comment 🙂

  3. Rewrite

    Thanks, terrific article.

    I had difficulty dating the Van Puyvelde piece and could only find the 2016 copywrite at the bottom. Christopher Chivvis at Rand Corp testified on the subject in March of 2017 before the House Armed Services Committee. It’s lucid, well structured and available. I’ve added a link.

    There’s perhaps a video game patina about hybrid war which may, except for all those who’ve witnessed the last three decades of slaughter up close and personal, mask our ingrained denial of the possibility of another European war. But, like it or not, Russia and Nato are gearing up. No doubt you have given much thought to this widely discussed possibility and hopefully will report about it as part of this series. I presume you’ve read the January 25 Economist piece, The odds on a conflict between the great powers, and may already have quoted from it. I’ll link it anyhow https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21735480-great-powers-seem-have-little-appetite-full-scale-war-there-room .

    As noted on Slack, I want us to build some visuals around the military provocations and response as well as the buildup. To this end, I’ve spent too much of the day looking for a single source governmental listing of the many Russian sea and aerial incursions into and around Nato territory during the last ten years. No such luck. Many articles, but no agency seems to have created a comprehensive, publicly available list. No doubt private sources–-the Rands and Janes of life–have done this and would be glad to share for some outrageous renumeration. We need access to hard data—reincarnate Ralph Wigram!

    Anyhow great article, best I’ve read on the site.

    1. Rewrite

      Thanks for the link and the reading suggestions. Would you like to write that story you suggested, with links and sources?

      1. Rewrite

        This time difference between Berkeley and London is painful. In any case, I’d love to but with serious collaboration, and I would think I’d need some access to online databases to get at military events? Can I access any databases through WT, at least temporarily? Do you know of relevant public sources other than news sources?

        1. Rewrite

          Hey Jonathan. We don’t currently have access to any online databases but if you suggest a few, I can try arranging a free trial.

          I can’t think of any relevant public sources off the top of my head that are systematically compiling this sort of information in an easily digestible way. Security and defence think-tanks and journals are probably the best place to start.

          1. Rewrite

            Financial databases everywhere, public paid access military databases not so much, mostly hardware like Janes.

            Different tack, I’m looking for rosters at places like this http://search.cranfield.ac.uk/s/search.html?collection=cranfield-people&query=&profile=_default&f.Theme%7Ctheme=Defence%20and%20Security&start_rank=16
            I’ll reach out to some folks and see what I can see.

            Also, been trying to pull a sitemap here https://www.realcleardefense.com
            they’re buttoned up-any ideas?

          2. Rewrite

            Hi, let me do some homework and circle back with some potential thoughts. I am and I’m not surprised we don’t have databases–really pricey stuff. Critical matter and I’ll check. You’re on slack, I’ve invited you to join the visualization channel (you should have received the invite) and I’ll ping you when I have details.

  4. Rewrite

    US senator John McCain along with Victoria Nulan visited Ukraine shortly before the neo-nazi coup. They literally orchestrated it. And, after they won, they began a crackdown on Russians living there. They attempted to ban Russian language. They needed protection from this and clinged to Russia. Putin only did what any smart president would have done: arrange some elections. They won it by sheer majority. They took it peacefully. What invasion?

    1. Flagged as bias

      I agree. No modern description of the word “invasion” applies to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, except in the Western world. For the story(ies) to continue to propagate this falsehood is not what I expected from WikiTribune.

    2. Rewrite

      We try to avoid running conspiracy theories as fact but it is fine to discuss them in TALK. The story does make clear that one of the reasons Russia developed this doctrine was because it believed others were arrayed against it, specifically with colour revolution movements. You are welcome to add factual information to the story or suggest it in TALK.

      1. Other

        What is missing is the actual factual official public release of any factual Russian doctrine of “hybrid warfare.” Western analysts assertions do not a Russian policy make. Moreover your call for facts is misplaced in an article based entirely on assertions with or without a chain of supporters.

  5. Other

    My point is to suggest a resolution to the story. Only transparency and anti corruption can save the cesspool known as “the city of London” Every criminal organization in the world has a great deal of money parked in the city.

    1. Rewrite

      John, blimey. We will work as best we can to get to this but it is a huge topic.

      1. Rewrite

        I do empathize with your dilemma since i make the same kinds of boundaries around a “topic” This is an artifact of the way humans think and the way we use language. The problem is that in the real world as we now think of it, everything is connected to everything else, like an ecological system such as the weather. Complexity is upon us and the simple life for which we hanker is no longer possible.

  6. Rewrite

    To try to address some of the comments here about “western” experts. I will here cut and paste some paragraphs from the excellent Financial Times profile of Russian General Gerasimov who has himself written the doctrine of hybrid war as carried out by Russia.
    This is not some anti-Russian point of view, it is a remarkable shift in tactics to a war played out by other means whether attempted interference in US elections (documented and agreed by all US intelligence services and more recently by the social media companies.
    It is – in essence — newsworthy.
    If we can get alternative and additional perspectives from Russians and Russian experts, we will but not if it is just to spread disinformation which has been the tactic of official Russian media so far along with various Russian politicians.

    Here are the longer Gerasimov quotes from the FT piece which in turn is from a Russian military site which is linked in George’s story for those who speak Russian:

    I put this here clearly acknowledging the FT copyright and the link to the full report is in story and here as well:
    https://www.ft.com/content/7e14a438-989b-11e7-a652-cde3f882dd7b

    “In the 21st century we have seen a tendency towards blurring the lines between the states of war and peace. Wars are no longer declared and, having begun, proceed according to an unfamiliar template,” Mr Gerasimov argued in a 2,000-word essay in February 2013 in the weekly Russian defence newspaper Military-Industrial Courier.

    “Among such actions are the use of special-operations forces and internal opposition to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state, as well as informational actions, devices, and means that are constantly being perfected,” he wrote.

    Transcribed from a speech made three months after his appointment as chief of the general staff, this depiction of a hybrid battleground involving “political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures” appeared prophetic a year later.

    1. Rewrite

      “This is not some anti-Russian point of view, it is a remarkable shift in tactics”

      Fact: You quote Gerasimov as observing these tactic deployed by the West against Russia.

      There is a lot to back up that point of view, which is naturally unmentioned by any of the Western security authorities exclusively quoted in the article. In a context of international hostility you have literally pinned a policy on Russia by turning its own allegations upon itself by giving no voice or mention to what backs it up, and unquestioning stenography of hostile western players. That is radically improper journalism.

      Anyone can verify that the Gerasimov was right to see the tactics mentioned as Western, starting with the link below if they are so out of touch with anything but mainstream Western media.

      https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

      Furthemore, the claim that this “hybrid warfare” is now intensely waged by Russia is still taken entirely on advice of the same hostile Western authorities. No doubt those authorities are playing clean in this regard, like they did when convincing us to invade Iraq on account of WMD. All and only Russian authorities or agents are to be doubted.

      How exactly is it less tenable to imagine that, for a radical example, Skirpal was hit by some Western spook to escalate tensions than, as the article shamelessly moots, he was hit by Russians PRECISELY to escalate tensions.

      The essence of this phenomenon is not Russian or even modern. The first casualty of war has always been truth. Sun Tzu wrote the book on it, and I quote, “All warfare is based on deception.”

      1. Rewrite

        If you can find a lucid way to report those theories please let us know.

    2. Rewrite

      This is not an invention of the 21st century. It was used already in the 20th century. The wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan were in fact wars between the USSR and the US without declaring war and others’ hands. (used google translate, sorry if make “mistakes”).

  7. Rewrite

    What evidence is there of the use of chemical weapons by Russia?

    1. Rewrite

      We’re referring in this to the use of the novichak nerve agent. You could also refer to the poisoning of Ukrainian president Viktor Yuschenko. Beyond that, of course, is the radioactive poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.
      We can add more to the story if you have others to suggest.

      1. Rewrite

        Do you seriosly belive, russian spies use nerve agent which can easly identify who use this? In this world we have 1000 different venoms, bullets and another weapons. It’s look like cheap provocation against russians. I’m from russia and this histery about russia very dissapointed me and people who live in russia.

        1. Understood entirely but to be clear: it is not what we believe here but I am sure you know that. If there are other voices with credibility you feel we should be including or which you wish to include please let us know or just go in an EDIT or add this way. Thanks.

    2. Rewrite

      No direct evidence. I suggest you listen to Boris Johnson’s interview on BBC radio 4 today and Theresa May’s speech yesterday.

  8. Rewrite

    “Other countries may deploy elements of hybrid warfare”
    Which other countries? It is my understanding that america, for example, takes great pride in it’s ability to destabilize foreign governments. Examples my be Chili, Iraq, Iran, and a long list. All prior to official military invasion.
    Interviews with american and British ‘experts’ and references to the same corporate media that trumpeted WMD even after it was obvious they never existed supports does fall a bit below what I expect.

    1. Rewrite

      Hey Del, thanks for your suggestion. Although this story is about Russia’s development and implementation of hybrid strategies of warfare and interference – which military analysts and security experts (no inverted commas required) – you’re right that other nations engage in this kind of activity too. You’re more than welcome to create your own story on the subject.

      1. Rewrite

        Hi, George, the diction of the article doesn‘t express that it is [only] about Russia, but, singling Russia out, it is about „the leading exponent“ of hybrid war tactics. Where is the comparative look at hybrid warefare by the relevant countries which could result in a statement like „leading exponent“? The article just argues with “widely recognized”.

        1. Rewrite

          Here is the Wikipedia article about hybrid war: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_warfare
          We are not Wikipedia. By that I mean George’s story is a piece of journalism, driven by an event and not an attempt to collate and verify every element of what constitutes this subject. But, we will always link to what does do that.

        2. Rewrite

          Hi Ingrid, you have a point. I tempered the language in the intro to “a leading exponent” and added some detail in the second section to support the notion. For a comparison of how different states and non-state actors employ hybrid strategies, please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_warfare

  9. Rewrite

    Also: to be clear: we have done our own interviews and research on this story and are about to add more from specific interviews with experts. However, we have also linked where relevant and hopefully transparently to well informed sources such as the Financial Times and The Economist which have invested serious time looking at this phenomenon and philosophy of hybrid war.
    I will read through and edit where necessary once we add more information from interviews George has done this afternoon.

  10. Rewrite

    And Crimea was given as a GIFT to Ukraine by a single person in the 1950s is a propaganda.

  11. Flagged as bias

    I would love you would digging little deeper into the background of the story here.

    It seems you just rephrase what is already “common knowledge” meaning what the corporate media says:
    Russia is the enemy
    Worst in warfare (even worse then the US?)
    Occupying Crimea – because they can

    I’m concerned and dissatified about your tone and bias here. Please address that.

    Thank you.

    1. Rewrite

      Also: to be clear: we have done our own interviews and research on this story and are about to add more from specific interviews with experts. However, we have also linked where relevant and hopefully transparently to well informed sources such as the Financial Times and The Economist which have invested serious time looking at this phenomenon and philosophy of hybrid war.
      I will read through and edit where necessary once we add more information from interviews George has done this afternoon.

    2. Rewrite

      I will take a look but the point we are hoping to make is that Russia is the most effective exponent of this form of warfare. We do also make explicit that Moscow regards things like the US support of democracy in Ukraine — the orange revolution — as a form of hybrid warfare carried out by the United States and Europe.

    3. Rewrite

      If the Russian state doesn’t want to be seen as an enemy, then they’re certainly going about it the wrong way.

      Friends don’t poison each other.

    4. Rewrite

      Hey Jochen, thanks for your comment. Would you like to make any concrete suggestions?

      1. Flagged as bias

        I’m grateful, you asked.
        If the following points I try to make are taken into consideration I would be very happy:
        – First things first: Maybe I suffer from an overload of information on “Russia must be bad” (since very few to none proof is provided – namely in the so-called election meddling)
        – Then I feel as if I learned a fair share of what has been done to Russia:
        – Germany (people like my ancestors) nearly destroyed Russia
        – Western military powers like U.S. and NATO move to Russia’s borders
        – Crimea and Ukraine conflict is not viewed in a context of imperial powers but Russia alone
        – Let me be clear: I do NOT say, others are bad as well or worse, I want to point out the perspective and the context has to be clear and transparent to the reader!

        1. Rewrite

          Jochen, you raise some interesting points. So, for example, if you were to create a story about how Russia feels victimized in the post-war era through the USSR and into the current era – with expert sources – that would be great.

          Regarding your first point, you will find a comprehensive US intelligence agencies report on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

          1. Rewrite

            Is there any article, a summary from Wikimedia, about the US intelligence agencies report on Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections?

            If there is none, it is newsworthy in my opinion to make that summary, so we get informed about it.
            It is also smart to put that summary as a reference (in this article) on what extraordinary tactics Russia employs that makes Russia the most successful user of “hybrid interference”.

            Even more, there should be an article comparing Russia’s hybrid interference tactics to other major players like US and China, comparing the number and intensity of used methods, successfulness, media coverage intensity and results in general.

            I fell that this will resolve if Russian hybrid interference is really that powerful, or their targets live in countries in Europe that have the will to fight back, while countries like USA target people in the Middle East where governments support such hybrid interference by the USA.

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