Past and Present Russian Information Operations in Ukraine: Competition into Conflict




cyber, cyber warfare, information warfare, Russia-Ukraine war


Sovereign nation-states seek to ensure the survival and advancement of national goals through cooperation, competition, and conflict.  This paper explores the use of irregular warfare prior to and during the transition from competition to conflict as an international tool to assert control over public narratives.  This stratagem has been made an increasingly effective tool through means of the Internet.  Informational warfare is not a new concept, however, the precedent of operations in the information environment in concert with operations in the physical realm have started to take shape in the struggle between Ukraine and Russia over the past several decades.  The visualization of the competition continuum model allows us to examine events and understand how actions taken in the cyber realm effect an informational narrative, and not simply be portrayed as a method of simple attack and defense.  

Author Biography

Stephen Defibaugh, Marymount University

Dr. Stephen Defibaugh currently holds a Doctorate in Science (DS.c) in Cyber Security from Marymount University.  He has focused his research on cyber warfare and the role of operations in the information environment affecting cyber warfare strategy.  He is a Chief Information Security Officer for the Federal Government and a Marymount University Research Fellow.