Tbilisi, Chișinău, Kyiv, Yerevan, Brussels , 2019

Hybrid Threats in EaP Countries: Building a Common Response

Authors: Kakha Gogolashvili (Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies), Valeriu Pașa (WatchDog.md, Moldova), Mikayel Hovhannisyan (Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Armenia), Viktor Ohiienko (Ukrainian Core), Julya Sahakyan (Eurasian Partnership Foundation, Armenia). Editor: Kakha Gogolashvili.

The paper studies hybrid threats which affect the Eastern-Partnership states and elaborates recommendations to actively engage civil society in countering them.

Hybrid threats are understood as tactics of warfare exerted by the Russian Federation, which combine physical warfare with non-traditional means of warfare, such as cyber attacks. In order to implement their military plans, “Russian security structures [have] used various methods, from presenting disguised troops as rebels […], to sowing panic by spreading rumours and disinformation and disseminating hate and alienation between artificially opposed camops”, the paper states.

The paper presents evidence for hybrid threats in four country-case studies, covering Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It shows that hybrid threats vary significantly from country to country.

In order to counter hybrid threats, the paper recommends official bodies and non-state actors to reinforce international cooperation on government and civil-society level in the EaP and in EU countries. Civil society, EaP states, and EU states need to exchange knowledge about and analyse cases of hybrid threats in the region. They should develop an appropriate legal environment and adequate institutional capacity to facilitate such analysis. The EaP Civil Society Forum should help civil society to organise itself more effectively, and in the direction of strengthening the resilience of EaP countries, especially countering attacks aiming at discrediting Europeanisation efforts of the countries.

The paper was developed in the framework of a Re-granting Project in Working Group 1, and benefitted from support through the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme 2019.

Available for download

Hybrid Threats in EaP Countries – Building a Common Response, Gogolashvili, Pașa, Hovhannisyan, Ohiienko et al., 2019