Information operations as the main component of Russian aggression against Georgia in August 2008
The aim of the article is to reveal the essence of the mechanisms and information tools used by the Russian Federation during the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008; to analyze the main components of information operations and to reveal each component of information support of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. It should be noted that the Russian Federation actively fought for control over the information space in order to obtain geopolitical dividends, and the main goal of Russia’s information operations was to form an opinion among the international community about the aggressor state Georgia, which began hostilities against another ethnic minority on its own territory. Research methods: structural and functional analysis, search, formal-logical, system-structural, analytical. Main results: practical examples of information operations conducted by the Russian Federation during the Russian-Georgian military conflict in August 2008 are analyzed; the information operation’s main components: computer network operations, electronic warfare, military deception, operational security, psychological operations that accompanied the kinetic operations of the conflict’s parties are identified and studied. The study reveals the fact of Russia’s thorough information preparation for the war, implementation of multifaceted anti-Georgian information “throw-ins” and struggle for the world’s information space control. Concise conclusions: the Russian-Georgian war of August 2008 showed the growing influence of information war and revealed a number of Russia’s Armed Forces shortcomings in this area at the same time. The conflict accelerated the Russia’s military reform implementation, which has taken into account the latest information technology advances. The Russian side pushed Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to the war, which Russia used to strengthen its international influence. The Russian Federation succeeded in suppressing the Georgian leadership’s communication with its own citizens and outside the world, and a brief Internet confrontation between Russian and Georgian hackers sparked widespread debate about the power of the Internet to influence the public opinion during the conflict. Practical meaning: the article materials can form a theoretical basis for the formation and implementation of various methods of counteracting the information and psychological influence of the Russian Federation in the post-Soviet space. Originality: a comprehensive study of the sources devoted to the theme of the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 is carried out and introduced into scientific circulation. The information war is a part of Russia’s hybrid war. This was confirmed by the statement of General Valery Gerasimov that “the political goals of the 21 st century can be achieved by non-military and informational means” and “the operation to force Georgia to peace” has revealed the lack of common approaches for the use of Armed Forces outside the Russian Federation”. Scientific novelty: for the first time an extended analysis of historical sources that described the information operations conducted by the opposing sides during the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008 is carried out. In Ukrainian historiography, this problem has not been studied yet. Russian publications were not used because of their bias. Type of article: analytical.
Bumgarner, J., and Borg, S., 2009. Overview by the US-CCU of the Cyber Campaign Against Georgia in August of 2008. US‑CCU Special Report. Available at: http://www.projectcyw-d.org/resources/items/show/138 [Accessed: 20.09.2020].
Cohen, A., and Hamilton, R., 2011. The Russian Military and the Georgia War: Lessons and Implications. Strategic Studies Institute, June 2011.
Cornell, S., Nilsson, N., and Popjanevski, J., 2008. Russian’s War in Georgia : Causes and Implications for Georgia and the World. Central Asia Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program Policy Paper, August 2008. Available at: https://www.silkroadstudies.org/resources/pdf/SilkRoadPapers/2008_08_PP_CornellPopjanevskiNillson_Russia-Georgia.pdf [Accessed: 19.09.2020].
Georgia says it Killed Four in Kodori Clash, Suspects Russia. 2009. Open Source Center. Available at: https//www.opensource.gov/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_200_240_1019_43/html [Accessed: 26.09.2020].
Gerasimov, V., 2013. Tsennost nauki v predvidenii, Voenno‑promyshlennyy kurer, issue 8 (476). Available at: https://www.vpk-news.ru/articles/14632 [Accessed: 26.09.2020] (in Russian).
Hollis, D., 2011. Cyberwar Case Study: Georgia 2008. Small Wars Journal. Available at: http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/cyberwar-case-study-georgia-2008 [Accessed: 24.09.2020].
Independent International Fact‑Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia Report. September 2009, Vol. 2, p. 218. Available at: https://www.mpil.de/files/pdf4/IIFFMCG_Volume_II1.pdf [Accessed: 15.09.2020].
Joint Publication 3–13. Information Operations. Joint Chiefs of Staff, 27 November 2012. Incorporating Change 1 (20 November 2014). Available at: https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp3_13.pdf [Accessed:
Kucera, J., 2011. Condoleezza Rice Warned Georgian Leader on War With Russia. The Atlantic, 16 November 2011. Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/condoleezza-rice-warned-georgian-leader-on-war-with-russia/248560/# [Accessed: 17.09. 2020].
Lucas, E., 2009. The New Cold War : Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West. N. Y. : Palgrave Macmillan, pр.141–147.
McDermott, R., 2009. Russia’s Conventional Armed Forces and the Georgian War. Parameters. Available at: https://www.offiziere.ch/wp-content/uploads-001/2019/01/McDERMOTT-Russia%E 2 %80 %99s-Conventional-Armed-Forces-and-the-Georgia.pdf [Accessed: 14.09.2020].
Nicolle, A., 2008. Russia’s Rapid Reaction : But Short War Shows Lack of Modern Systems. IISS Strategic Comments, vol. 14, issue 7, September 2008, pр. 23–27.
Project Grey Goose Phase II. 2009. The Evolving State of Cyber Warfare. GreyLogic, 20 March 2009. Available at: http://www.fistfulofgold.com/Documents/ProjectGreyGoose.
pdf [Accessed: 15.09.2020].
Putin, V., 2012. Rossiya i Menyayushchiysya Mir. Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Available at: http://www.rg.ru/2012/02/27/putin-politika.html [Accessed: 26.09.2020] (in Russian).
Rogoza, J., 2008. Russian Propaganda War : Media as a Long- and Short-range Weapon. Center for Eastern Studies, Warsaw, Poland, November 2008, issue 9, pp. 1–5.
Ruchkin, V., 2008. Virus vozhdizma. Krasnaya Zvezda. 13 August 2008. Available at: http://old.redstar.ru/2008/08/13_08/4_06.html [Accessed: 18.09. 2020] (in Russian).
Shachtman, N., 2009. Top Georgian Official : Moscow Cyber Attacked Us – We Just Can’t Prove It. Wired. Available at: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/03/georgia-blames/ [Accessed: 29.09.2020].
Shakarian, P., 2011. The 2008 Russian Cyber Campaign Against Georgia. Military Review. Available at: https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/military-review/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20111231_art013.pdf [Accessed: 15.09.2020].
Thomas, T., 2009. The Bear Went Through the Mountain: Russia Appraises its Five-Day War in South Ossetia. The Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13518040802695241 [Accessed: 08.09.2020].
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who are published in the journal «Universum Historiae et Archeologiae» agree to the following terms:
– copyright on the article is retained by the author(s); the authors grant the right of the first publication to the journal «Universum Historiae et Archeologiae». After submitting his text to the editorial board, the author of the article should not violate the copyrights of other individuals and organizations;
– the author of the published article has the right to distribute it in the form in which it is published in the journal «Universum Historiae et Archeologiae» (for example, to post the article in repositories, personal scientific profiles, websites or publish as a part of a monograph), provided that the bibliographic links to the first publication of the work in the journal «Universum Historiae et Archeologiae» are present (or links to an electronic copy, which is stored on the official website of the journal).