Categorizing Cyber Activity Through an Information-psychological and Information-technological Perspective, Case Ukraine.


  • Harry Kantola Finnish National Defence University



Information-psychological warfare, information-technological warfare, cyber warfare, ccyber operation compilation, cyber operations, offensive cyberspace operations


Russian approach to warfighting includes an informational facet. Western hemisphere usually treats cyber activity as a tool similar to traditional warfighting tools such as rifles, artillery and tanks, whereas the Russian approach has an informational and narrative stance to the whole conflict. Placing information in the focus, switches the cyber activity to serve either an informational-psychological or an informational-technical approach. Examining the activity from this non-conventional trait and correlating it to other activities during the execution, the study highlights the coordination of kinetic and non-kinetic actions in an altered manner. In this article I am examining cyber activity through the terms of information-psychological and information-technological approach to form an understanding of Russian or Russian supported activities in cyber space before and during the Ukraine crisis. This will recognize types of cyber activity connected to actions in the physical environment. Actions identified are categorized and placed in a matrix created on psychological and/or technical clout. From this matrix groups of activities are scrutinized in correlation to other activities to expose possible narratives or underlying themes. The study relies on a variant of Grounded theory and is selected to elude from examine technical methods and actions. The observed timeframe is for the first study from 2021, well before the current hot phase, until summer 2022. This article is the first part of a two-stage study, where the first part examines cyber activity through the terms of information-psychological and information-technological approach. The second study places the previous findings in correlation to actions, reactions and mitigation activities to find out how defensive measures were relevant or if the outcome were result of something else than deliberate defensive (cyber-)activities. Throughout the larger study, the underlying hypothesis is that there is a larger coordination of cyber activities than acknowledged related to the ongoing crisis.