AuthorTorichnyi, Vadym
  1. Introduction

    Russia's rapid achievement of its political goals on occupying and annexing the Crimean Peninsula in early 2014, virtually without the use of large military contingents, was unexpected for the world. At the same time, mostly non-military tools, such as information-psychological and political technologies, have become essential tools for Russia's success. Russia's approach in Crimea has been particularly impressive, as it has differed significantly from the Russian use of the army in the past on its imperial interests. The Chechen wars (1994-1996, 1999-2009) and the war with Georgia (2008) were criticized internally and externally for excessive use of force and were determined as failed campaigns due to lack of coordination, outdated equipment, and unsuccessful strategies.

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the idea that Russian troops were quite outdated dominated for a long time, and that is why Russia's success in Crimea was particularly unexpected for Western democracies. As a result, expert circles expressed the opinion that during the Crimean operation, a 'new art of war' was even used, which, if repeated, could pose a significant threat to developed democracies.

    Thus, we believe that conducting of scientific investigations of the RussianUkrainian confrontation can enrich the experience of modern wars and armed conflicts in the interests of their effective settlement.

    The purpose of further research analysis of the author's team is to substantiate and prove the hypothesis that Ukraine's systemic unpreparedness to resist Russian propaganda has become one of the dominant preconditions for the beginning of Russian hybrid aggression and its escalation into a 'low-intensity armed conflict'.

    Analytical investigations of scientists and publicists were used as a source base of the work, within which the nature and content of Russian propaganda, the specifics of its use in the course of modern military-political conflicts were comprehended. In particular, this is a series of analytical materials of the National Institute for Strategic Studies (basic research institution for analytical and prognosticate support of the President of Ukraine and the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine); regulations and guidelines governing national and information security in Ukraine (laws, strategies, doctrines, etc.).

    The work is constructed as an analytical investigation, which examines information obtained from open sources. The conclusions are preliminary and need further conceptualization.

  2. Main part

    Success in the implementation of Russia's goals for the occupation and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula was served by a number of favorable factors, including:

    the predominant pro-Russian civic element, which for many years grew on Russian social traditions and was supported with resources by the Russian government, the presence of Russian military facilities and contingents, which, in turn, determined the imperceptible penetration of military invasion forces at the beginning of the armed aggression, weakening and discrimination of Ukrainian political leadership in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and in Sevastopol, the almost complete absence of military resistance and the reaction of the international community, which was stunned and surprised by the speed of Russian action. It is worth noting that such a convergence of favorable factors will probably be difficult to repeat in most other scenarios. The Russian strategy in Crimea was successful, in our opinion, because the set of military means that the Russians could use and the set of countermeasures that post-revolutionary Ukraine could use allowed the aggressor to achieve specific military-political goals in this case. After all, the importance of the context is crucial in assessing the specific factors that ultimately led to the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea and the beginning of separatist demonstrations in the Donbas. Misinformation and manipulation of information were used by the aggressor to influence international public opinion, attracting a large irregular contingent.

    In the modern world there is an intensive increase of information and communication potential. As a result, there is the formation of a global information society in which information resources become as important as the resources of power and wealth. The current reality is the rapid growth of opportunities for the rapid exchange of political, economic, cultural, scientific and technical, military and other information.

    Under such conditions of external misinformation and manipulation of information, full-scale involvement of the state's protective potential for purposeful regulation of information policy becomes historically natural, legitimate and necessary. This is due to national interests aimed at strengthening of information sovereignty, ensuring information security, the integrity of the national information space, its adequate integration into the global information space (Toffler 2004: 672).

    Complete or partial refusal of national information sovereignty, neglect in any form of the requirement of strict observance of national interests in the information sphere inevitably lead to loss of control over state sovereignty as a whole. This is a kind of marker that signals the end of the bipolar world and the transition to multivector, the period of the so-called 'hybrid wars', political and economic sanctions, the extreme ideology of the entire system of international relations, cyber terrorism and cybercrime. As the famous American futurist O. Toffler impartially pointed out, at the present stage knowledge and information have become the most important resources of power.

    Analysis of the basic concepts of state information policy allows to define the latter as the activity of public authorities and management on the development of a set of measures to identify and meet information needs in society within a single information and cultural and communication space through development, implementation and effective use of modern information products and technologies.

    The part of the information and propaganda component in the wars and armed conflicts of our time is becoming almost equivalent, and in some places even predominant, compared to other forms and methods of modern military-political confrontation. At the same time, it is already well known that the useful properties of information as a means of influence are versatility, easy access, and wide range of applications, permeability and purposefulness. The famous researcher G. Pocheptsov defines 'information wars' as a kind of destabilizing technologies, the essence of which is to "achieve dominance in the symbolic field, because it is the field of interpretation of facts" (Pocheptsov 2001: 256).

    An important example of the use of 'information weapons' for analysis was the information campaign used by the Russian Federation against Ukraine during the occupation and annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of war in the Eastern Donbas.

    Thus, the director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine V. Horbulin noted that "Russia has used against Ukraine the concept of'hybrid war', which is largely unique in structural and functional terms: in form it is 'hybrid', and for content - 'asymmetric'. although each specific element of this 'hybrid war' is not new in essence and has been used in almost all wars of the past, the coherence and relationship of these elements, the dynamism and flexibility of their application, and the growing importance of the information factor are unique. Moreover, the latter, in some cases, becomes an independent component and is no less important than the military". Thus, the novelty and extraordinary...

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