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.
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