Russian Hybrid Warfare and Frozen Conflicts
Russia, employing hybrid warfare tactics, targets neighboring and European countries to sustain frozen conflicts, directly involving non-state actors, separatist movements, and, indirectly, international actors, including NATO and EU countries. Hybrid warfare by Russia consists of a combination of military, technological, economic, and informational strategies to initiate and sustain frozen conflicts without escalating to full-scale war. The strategy undermines the stability and sovereignty of affected countries, destabilizes regional security, and challenges the existing international order, posing a significant threat to global peace and security. Observers have increasingly noted this tactic post-Cold War, with substantial escalations in the 21st century, notably in regions like Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Russia intends to reassert its influence in the post-Soviet space, prevent NATO and EU expansion, and create geopolitical buffers by maintaining areas of influence through unresolved conflicts. Russia executes through a combination of covert military support, cyber operations, disinformation campaigns, and exploitation of ethnic and political divisions within target states.