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Ukraine informs the OSCE on Russia's hybrid warfare methods, recent killing of Ukrainian medic in the Donbas
15 July 2020 19:43

On 15 July, Ukraine and Albania held a joint meeting of the Forum for Security Co-operation and the OSCE Permanent Council on hybrid threats and modern methods of warfare.

Keynote speaker on behalf of Ukraine was Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies.

At the invitation of the Ukrainian Presidency, Inga Žukauskienė, a representative of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, and , Michael Rühle, Head of Hybrid Challenges and Energy Security Section at NATO's Emerging Security Challenges Division, also took part in the meeting as keynote speakers.

In his address, Oleksandr Lytvynenko spoke about the multidimensional hybrid means and methods that Russia has been using against Ukraine since the beginning of military intervention and illegal temporary occupation of part of Ukraine.

He explained that Russia's goal is to thwart our country's European integration and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, to create a buffer zone between Russia and the West, and, ultimately, to restore its influence in Ukraine. He called the war that Russia had unleashed and continued in the Donbas, a war of attrition.

According to the speaker from Ukraine, in order to achieve its goals, the aggressor state does not neglect any means not only in the military, but also in the political, economic, information and other spheres. Oleksandr Lytvynenko drew attention to Russia's aggressive and subversive actions to integrate, in effect, the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions into the Russian Federation. He stressed that these and other actions of Russia have been destroying the foundations of European security for six years and threatening peace and stability on the continent.

For their part, the delegations of the OSCE Participating States expressed deep concern over the hybrid methods of war and the threats they face in their countries. These included large-scale disinformation campaigns posing a strategic challenge to the functioning of democratic institutions. Recently, misinformation has escalated due to the criminals abusing the pandemic.

The OSCE Participating States noted that in countering these threats they attach special importance to persistent and sustained efforts to promote education, media literacy, independent journalism and the development of a strong civil society.

A separate topic for discussion was the danger of cyber attacks and attempts to interfere in the election process. A number of OSCE Participating States noted that Russia’s footprint is clearly visible in hybrid threats.

According to the participants, effective counteraction to hybrid threats requires, first of all, the stability of society achieved through the involvement in an effective interaction of all levels of government, civil society and private sector. The OSCE Participating States shared the experience of best practices in the early detection, recovery and coordinated response to hybrid threats by all public authorities.

The representative of Ukraine separately drew the delegates’ attention to the treacherous murder of a Ukrainian military medic by the Russian occupation forces in Donbas on July 13. According to him, this is a clear example of Russia's use of hybrid methods of aggression. He stressed that during the shelling, a group of Ukrainian military personnel wore white helmets and vests with "JCCC" markings as they were carrying out a mission coordinated with the OSCE SMM to evacuate the body of a Ukrainian soldier killed the day before near the village of Zaitsevo. Despite this, the Russian occupation forces practically murdered the Ukrainian military medic and wounded two other personnel members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in violation of the agreements, which had been reached, and the security guarantees, which had been provided.

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