Russia’s strategy in the current confrontation with Ukraine is reminiscent of past conflicts in the USSR, such as the missile war. Experts say that as important as the content is the “orchestration” or the time pattern in which the messages are disseminated.
In this conflict it is necessary to dwell on the concept of ‘hybrid warfare’ because we have to think that wars today are fought in a very different way from the way they were fought in the last century.
Now we will not only see battalions, tanks and armored vehicles: the beginning of the war is made in a different way. We can expect cyber-attacks, attacks on the electromagnetic spectrum, logic bombs, electromagnetic pulse bombs, graphite bombs… to override the entire communications system.
Russia could try to render civilian and military elements within the battlefield blind and mute in Ukraine. And there are more ways to subdue the enemy: propaganda, which we are seeing that that exists; media manipulation, the whole set of disinformation; special operations forces; sabotage… that is, attacks on the margins of the conventional.
And of all those weapons provided by ‘hybrid warfare,’ propaganda and disinformation are playing one of the most important roles. Putin on Tuesday called what is happening in the Donbas “genocide” and in the Russian press, headlines appear accusing Kiev of bringing chemical and biological weapons to that province. “Russia could use this fake news to justify aggression against Ukraine,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated again last night.
Russian propaganda hardly reaches the West, but that of the United States and the European Union does. In the U.S. propaganda, technology is gaining prominence, such as, for example, satellite photographs that supposedly show Russian troop concentrations. These images belong to a private company and have not been independently verified.
On the other hand, the troop movements constitute “armed propaganda”. This conflict is being characterized by a large number of images recorded by both sides of their movements on the ground. They are disseminated in real time and anyone can access them through social networks. This tool is even used to inform the enemy of the withdrawal of supposed military units, without the interlocutor being able to know where these images come from, who recorded them, or when.