In the report of Maria Snegovaya titled“ PUTIN’S INFORMATION WARFARE IN UKRAINE”, published by the Institute for the Study of War, the author states that Russia is using the reflexive control technique to persuade the West to do something its leaders mostly wanted to do in the first place, namely, remain on the sidelines as Russia dismantled Ukraine.
The author mentions the key elements of Russia’s reflexive control technique in Ukraine have been:
- Denial and deception operations to conceal or obfuscate the presence of Russian forces in Ukraine, including sending in “little green men” in uniforms without insignia; (Snegovaya, 2015)
- Concealing Moscow’s goals and objectives in the conflict, which sows fear in some and allows others to persuade themselves that the Kremlin’s aims are limited and ultimately acceptable;(Snegovaya, 2015)
- Retaining superficially plausible legality for Russia’s actions by denying Moscow’s involvement in the conflict, requiring the international community to recognize Russia as an interested power rather than a party to the conflict, and pointing to supposedly-equivalent Western actions such as the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo in the 1990s and the invasion of Iraq in 2003; (Snegovaya, 2015)
- Simultaneously threatening the West with military power in the form of overflights of NATO and non-NATO countries’ airspace, threats of using Russia’s nuclear weapons, and exaggerated claims of Russia’s military prowess and success; (Snegovaya, 2015)
- The deployment of a vast and complex global effort to shape the narrative about the Ukraine conflict through formal and social media (Snegovaya, 2015)
PUTIN’S INFORMATION WARFARE IN UKRAINE. (2015, September). Retrieved December 2,2015, from http://understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Report%201%20Putin’s%20Information%20Warfare%20in%20Ukraine%20Soviet20Origins%20of%20Russias%20Hybrid%20Warfare.pdf