Hybrid threats-possible consequences in societal contexts
Keywords:hybrid threat, Russia, psychological warfare, disinformation, cyber-attacks
Hybrid threats have become a persistent term in the 21st century geopolitical architecture, acquiring new values as innovative unconventional means come to be used by both state and non-state actors in contemporary conflicts, with a view to obtaining strategic advantages, yet with devastating consequences at individual level. While the armed conflict effects have long been studied, the war metamorphosis with hybrid threats innuendos bring new challenges in assessing societal consequences, even more so, as they are increasingly identified in apparently peaceful times. A multifaced perspective on the threat outcome reveals multiple latent consequences, such as physical, material, psychological and emotional ones. Fear, one of the dominant human emotions, is the first to be triggered when any threat is present, regardless of its occurrence probability or possible effects. Fear becomes a strong drive for individuals’ future actions, sometimes prompting an offensive or defensive reaction previously embedded in the main actor’s behavior. In this context, the present paper aims to identify, analyze and understand the Russian-Ukrainian conflict consequences on the European states’ neighboring population, looking at the reactions and decisions triggered by fear. Using observation as a research method but also the case study method, we identified a series of similarities and differences in these countries’ reaction to solving situations, migration- generated crises, Russian disinformation and propaganda and Ukraine or other European state oriented cyber-attack. The main goal for this approach is to highlight the hybrid threats emotional consequences in conflicts that are more than psychological. Moreover, this is a preliminary step in a PhD research thesis with a view to provide states with solutions for resilience policies, to ensure their citizens’ survival and well-being.
Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.