New Threats and Methods of Hybrid War (report)

On ways to counteract the threats of the so-called the hybrid war, the tools that are used both for attacks and defence were discussed by participants of the discussion panel on the first day of the Forum in Rzeszow.

In a debate moderated by a Latvian Gints Amoliņš took part:

Dimitri Teperik, Director, International Center for Defense Research, Estonia
Oleksandr Korenkow, Director, Center for Security Research, Ukraine
Bożena Kamińska, MP, Sejm RP, Poland
Zbigniew Gryglas, MP, Sejm RP, Poland
Nikolaus von Twickel, Journalist, Germany



Oleksandr Korenkow, presented statistics on attacks in Ukraine since the early 1990s. Russia uses terrorism as part of a hybrid war. So, in his opinion, this is a new element in the strategy of fighting. In conducting a hybrid war, information resources are the most important and terrorism plays an auxiliary role.

Nikolaus von Twickel, noticed that we are currently abusing the term “hybrid war” very often. The message of Ukraine, which felt attacked, talked about the Russian invasion, did not translate into a reaction of the West, which would be expected by Ukrainians. The problem now is not the lack of defence capabilities, but the lack of interest on the part of the West in the situation in Ukraine.

Dimitri Teperik agreed with the opinion that the term “hybrid war” is being abused. Russia is becoming poorer and this is reflected in its behaviour, which is why it is trying to introduce information chaos in Europe. Aggression in information is often preceded by cyber-attacks. We do not want to underestimate or overestimate the activities of the Kremlin, said the head of the Estonian centre. The Kremlin regime finds our weaknesses and uses its wide range of attacks. There is a definition of “hostile propaganda” and “harmful misinformation” in Estonia. Our reaction to these types of threats and attacks must be systematic.

Bożena Kamińska stated that what is happening in the east of Ukraine is a regular war. As Europe, we should be prepared for cyber-attacks from Russia. It creates a kind of buffer area in regions of countries with which it is in conflict – such is the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the case of Georgia and Donbass – in the case of Ukraine.

Zbigniew Gryglas stressed that we are not sufficiently prepared for current and potential threats. He did not agree with the thesis that we are abusing the term “hybrid war”. What else means it in different places: in Ukraine, in the Baltic States, in Germany, in France. It starts with soft actions, then cyber-attacks, supporting extremist movements, then terrorist activities and, finally, traditional aggression. The hybrid war in full scale took place in Ukraine – from soft elements through so-called green men, for the current regular war. The West should bear in mind that what is happening in the East may also be its part in the future. We need common, uniform actions to stop Russia.