Publication:
THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION'S USE OF NON-STATE ACTORS IN HYBRID OPERATIONS IN EUROPE

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Authors
Suvari, Anders
Subjects
Russia
hybrid
New-Type Warfare
non-state actors
near-abroad
influence
Advisors
Clunan, Anne L.
Date of Issue
2021-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Under what circumstances is Russia successful in waging hybrid operations, short of the use of armed force? For the last two decades, Russia has undertaken structured cyber attacks, political destabilization, subversive activities, and psychological influence throughout the world as part of what has become known as "hybrid warfare" or “New-Type War” (NTW). This thesis examines two contemporary European case studies—Estonia and Montenegro—where Russia has used indirect means such as proxy forces, organized crime, and other tools to conduct influence operations in its attempts to achieve its foreign policy goals. The thesis investigates how Russia has used, or tried to use, these non-state actors; how effective these operations have been; and whether Russia was successful in reaching its foreign-policy objectives in target states. The thesis finds that Russian NTW campaigns require that there be no cohesive society in the target country. Contradictions and a divided society in the target country are the basis on which Russia can build an NTW campaign and choose the elements of NTW—non-state actors—to carry out the campaign. Thus, the most crucial aspect of launching and conducting an NTW campaign is the psychological influencing and so-called unbalancing of the target country's society and government.
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Thesis
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National Security Affairs (NSA)
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Approved for public release. distribution is unlimited
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