Defining the Concept of ‘Hybrid Warfare’ Based on the Analysis of Russia’s Aggression against Ukraine

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 41, p.11-20 (2018)


armed forces, conflict, hybrid warfare, information operations, international security, media


There is no generally accepted definition of ‘Hybrid Warfare.’ Often, authors used the term depending on the particular context and the issue at stake. This article reviews the variety of views on the definition of the concept of ‘hybrid warfare,’ suggests an up-to-date interpretation of the concept, and identifies key characteristics of conflicts involving this type of warfare.
It has been found that an information-psychological element forms the basis of ‘hybrid warfare’ with the aim to influence primarily public consciousness, rather than the armed forces or State’s infrastructure. Moreover, it has been identified that the indicated threats are of ambiguous nature, and thus it is difficult to single out, detect and identify them in order to organize an appropriate response. The authors note that the concept of ‘hybrid warfare’ has originated in the realm of special forces’ operations in geopolitical terms by integrating the experience of severe confrontations threatening international security, combating terrorism and extremism of state and non-state actors.
Along with the features of ‘hybrid warfare,’ the authors elaborate on its components and types, i.e. information warfare, cyber warfare, asymmetric warfare, task force hostilities, terrorist activities, urban guerrilla warfare, signs of humanitarian war, signs of ethnic conflict, trade war, etc. It has been proved that information operations’ planning is a significant component of the inter-agency approach to the decision-making under conditions of a new type of war – ‘hybrid’ war.

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Last updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2019