Hybrid Warfare Ecosystems: Russia Under Attack
A year ago, in August 2020, the US State Department released a special report entitled “Columns of Russian Disinformation and the Propaganda Ecosystem ”. The report “exposed” the Russian media and individual sites, from solid RT to my modest ones (mostly philosophical resources such as geopolitica.ru and personal accounts on social networks), which were blamed for the desire to spread Russia’s influence throughout the world, in parallel displacing and limiting the influence of global Western information structures. At the same time, obviously under the influence of this report, my accounts on youtube, Twitter, and even mail on google were disabled.
The report itself was nothing interesting. The usual Russophobic biased demagoguery. But I was interested in the term “propaganda ecosystem”, which after this report began to be actively used in the language of analysts and political scientists – first in the West, and then in our country.
The authors of the report accuse Russia of using such an “ecosystem”. The reason is that our country has its own point of view on the meaning of a number of events and processes in international politics and seeks to expound and convey this point of view to everyone who is interested in it.
It is quite natural that Russia, which seeks to strengthen its sovereignty and is generally oriented towards a multipolar world, interprets many processes proceeding from its interests and from its values, which sometimes do not coincide at all with the interests and values of the United States, NATO countries and globalist circles. But this gives no reason at all to call Russian media policy in the international context either “disinformation” or “propaganda.” However, in the eyes of the State Department and the entire Western propaganda machine, everything that does not coincide with the views of the globalists and the United States, contradicts them, gives an alternative point of view, opposes their strategies and approaches, is perceived as an “enemy attack.”
Almost any Russian thesis automatically becomes “disinformation” and “propaganda” if it does not coincide with the positions of Washington and Brussels. It makes no sense to make excuses. It is better to acknowledge and officially approve that we have our own truth, our own views and criteria, which must be defended on a global scale at any cost. And immediately the picture of the ideological confrontation will take on a clear and logical form. Propaganda is so propaganda, and the difference between information and disinformation is measured by those who are more successful in promoting their point of view. From the standpoint of Russia, everything directed against us and our interests is disinformation and aggressive propaganda. If this enemy propaganda penetrates our territory through foreign agents, it must be strictly prohibited. Actually, this is exactly what is happening now with the consistent prohibition of the activities of subversive extremist resources on the territory of Russia.
However, I was attracted by the term “ecosystem” in relation to media, network, and other resources that are carriers of “civilizational” truth, which, as it turns out, is not the only one, and even more so is not a monopoly of the West and the globalist elites of the West.
Analysis of the State Department’s report shows that there is still no full-fledged ecosystem of Russian influence.
And the US strike on it is preemptive and anticipatory. I suppose it won’t work and we will create this ecosystem, for real this time. But there is not the slightest doubt that such an ecosystem of propaganda exists in the interests of the West and the globalist elites. It is worth taking a closer look at it in order to make your own – a full-fledged and effective alternative.
An ecosystem is a phenomenon from a series of new strategies and networked (hybrid) wars. Their main feature is the use of various and different-scale elements and tools to achieve the old, like the world, goals of any war – the defeat, destruction, and subjugation of the enemy, the establishment of control over his territory and population.
Only now is this achieved by new means. Among them, the leading role is played by information portals, social networks, information transmission channels that are not directly associated with any particular country, or with a specific organization, ministry or special service.
The language and algorithms of hybrid companies have expanded many times over. Unlike classical propaganda, they do not directly and openly impose certain ideas, concepts, theories, or values. But they act more subtly – through memes, videos, short posts, as well as through a careful selection of images, colors, signs. Hybrid war uses the entire arsenal of neuro-linguistic programming, the laws of imagination, perception, subconscious associations, and cognitive clichés.
The West conveys the “truths” of global liberalism and superiority through entertaining stories, technical innovations, and the promotion of global trends and brands. It may be objected that any marketing and any PR work this way. Yes, but these technologies, as well as the Internet itself, were originally created precisely in the depths of the Western special services and were aimed at achieving victory in the information and hybrid war.
Marketing methods in business are local. And hybrid warfare is on a planetary scale. It has a single headquarters that does not directly and linearly control the processes but develops trends and algorithms, codes, and communication channels. And this headquarters has a core, ideology, philosophy, strategy, a clearly defined goal, and means to achieve it.
The ecosystem in question is created from a variety of elements, most often not directly in the field of attention of special services. Both ordinary journalists and bloggers, YouTubers, popular artists, scientists, experts, and artists play an important role here.
The ecosystem is introduced primarily into civil society and does not have a direct hierarchical model of subordination. At the same time, it is most often international, and only the highest echelons of this ecosystem, its center, and its intellect know the common strategy for all countries. She herself, like an analog in nature, has the potential for natural growth, gentle circumvention of obstacles, mutations, penetration, symbiosis with other species, mimicry, and adaptation.
But in order to be not just a chaotic network, but a purposeful type of weaponry, the ecosystem must have connections with the authority that sets global tasks, determines priorities, adjusts strategies, and, albeit mobile, goals. And this system is necessarily associated with the usual – classical – basic institutions of war – the army and the intelligence community.
The military structure of NATO countries has long been integrated, and the intelligence services of all Western and US-allied countries are always in close contact in matters of principle. The Western propaganda ecosystem is a completely real, reliable, and quite effective phenomenon. It has its own “mycelium” in all countries. And, of course, in Russia, which, along with China, was officially named by the CIA as the main enemy and threat number 2.
This policy is being practiced by Western-funded media outlets, human rights organizations, NGOs, bloggers, and opposition politicians. But the “striking” force is the agent of influence in various echelons of power up to the very top. These representatives of the ecosystem, camouflaged and outwardly loyal to Putin, are commonly referred to as the “sixth column”. They accept the rules of the game of sovereignty but are carriers of global liberal values. Sometimes people like Chubais and Kudrin openly proclaim their positions, checking the resistance and alertness of the siloviki and patriots.
Even more conspiratorial segments of the ecosystem are located in the power ministries and departments themselves, in the special services, and in government agencies. At the same time, the Russian part of the globalist ecosystem is connected by its separate threads with other mycelium and networks – primarily in the Western countries and especially in the limited trophic zones – the CIS countries and other neighbors of Russia.
The peculiarity of the modern globalist ecosystem is its flexibility, relative autonomy, information dissemination without an explicit hierarchical structure.
The ecosystem can carry out both pure espionage and military missions. So, under the pretext of fact-checking, a journalist, blogger, or just an almost random TikTok can be accurately directed to an object of interest to Western intelligence services. Ecosystem hackers, operating in any territory, are constantly engaged in breaking into national systems. This, in particular, was openly boasted by the Bulgarian “journalist” Hristo Grozev, who helped Navalny and the FBK banned in the Russian Federation to open the databases of the special services and security forces, organize surveillance and provocations for their employees. Grozev is one of the key segments of this ecosystem, specially oriented by MI6 and the CIA to Russia, to destabilize the internal social balance and curb interests in Eastern Europe.
Surprisingly, he acted openly, called for the undermining of the state system, interacted with Navalny and his team. But Grozev’s contacts were not limited to this. He oversaw and continues to oversee more closed segments of the ecosystem – in journalism, educational and scientific structures of the Russian Federation, declaring his connections in the corrupt part of the Russian special services. Characteristically, Grozev began with the demonization of me and Konstantin Malofeev in the Western media and hacking of our accounts back in 2014 during the era of Russian Spring. And it is we and our resources, in particular, the site katehon.com and Constantinople, appear in the first positions in the mentioned American report on the ecosystem.
The powers that be must realize that a purposeful hybrid war is being waged against Russia and its sovereignty .
It is based on a networked ecosystem based on new technologies and methods. The Russian special services are not yet well equipped to identify, reflect, and even more so proactively neutralize such threats. They work in an old-fashioned way, but it can be very effective. Better this way than nothing.
But so far, alas, it has not been possible to deploy a full-fledged Russian ecosystem in order to adequately, on the same planetary scale, resist the globalists. But what Russian patriots have done and are doing on their own is enough for the West to turn its aggressive attention to them. And exactly a year ago, he demolished the patriotic pro-state resources on his ecosystem networks controlled by the special services and the army.
It is time for Russia to fully engage in this hybrid war if it is already being waged against our country in full measure and on a huge scale. The Fatherland needs an ecosystem that is full-fledged, planetary, effective, not only defensive but also attacking. By full analogy with weapons. And of course, we must continue to crush the reptile inside the country. Humane but ruthless.
The original Russian version of the article can be found here ( Nezigar)