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Russia's armed forces on the information war front. Strategic documents

OSW Studies

The question about the role of the armed forces in the information space is in fact a question about the role of the factor of force in the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policy. In Russia, this factor has invariably been treated as a hallmark of the country’s position as a global power, an instrument of deterrence, and a way to exert political pressure and build spheres of influence. The country’s military information strategy is designed to serve those tasks, and envisages multiple battle fronts, including internal and external affairs, the info-psychological front, the cyberspace and other spheres. Its visible consequences include a militarisation of the language of politics and propaganda, the imposition on public opinion of the narrative of an information war against Russia, and a radical change of the Russian army’s image. Today Russia forcefully demands that other countries respect its spheres of influence in the neighbourhood (as seen from its aggression against Ukraine and its armed intervention in Syria). It claims to be the guarantor of peace processes, even as it demolishes the European and global security architecture, and presents itself as a centre of power, asserting the right to co-decide on matters of global security.

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