Kyiv, June 25, 2015. Yevhen Magda, the leading political scientist in Ukraine, presented his new book Hybrid War. Surviving and Winning during the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The main argument of the book is that military action in the course of hybrid warfare is secondary, while an aggressor state focuses its effors on weaponizing information and mass communications. Magda argues that this is precisely the kind of warfare that Russia has unleashed on Ukraine.
In Madga’s view, a series of events that took place in Ilovaysk in August 2014 as well as attacks on Debaltseve and Maryinka in February and June 2015 respectively, are examples of Russia’s hybrid warfare against Ukraine. “Firstly, it is critical to create an illusion of defeat of the Ukrainian troops in the media. Secondly, fill in the newspapers with eyewitness testimonies – photos of captured servicemen, numbers of those killed in action, etc. Third move is to instigate panics among ordinary Ukrainians and make them feel disenchanted about the potential of their own country. And the final piece is to encourage the Ukrainians to revolt, create parallel chain of commands and choose new leaders,” Yevhen Magda said, arguing that Russia’s main goal is to reinforce suspicion among Ukrainians as to the future of their own country.
“Russia needs such a model to eliminate Ukraine as a potential rival on the post-Soviet space quickly to demonstrate its own power to the Western world,” Magda added.
However, Magda says that are ways to counter Russia’s hybrid warfare through a number of leverages. The first one is to get information about Ukraine crisis to the headlines of the international media, increasing public support for Ukraine in Europe and the United States. Secondly, Russian aggression has to be countered with a unified information channel. “Ukrainian elites have to act together to confront the enemy and not use war for lobbying of their personal interests,” Magda explained. He concluded that ultimately it is the belief and efforts to transform Ukraine into a powerful state that fights until the bitter end and never misses a chance to score victory that would allow to overcome the persevere in the ongoing hybrid war.