War by non-military means: Understanding Russian information warfare


  • Ulrik Franke

Publish date: 2015-03-12

Report number: FOI-R--4065--SE

Pages: 60

Written in: English


  • Russia
  • information warfare
  • information operations
  • influence
  • operations
  • electronic warfare
  • cyber warfare
  • strategy
  • operational art


This report is first and foremost a review of Russian official documents and Russian literature on military theory with regard to information warfare. It also offers a few case studies, to shed light on how the theory is applied in practice. One conclusion is that information warfare is not considered to be just a matter for the Armed Forces, but rather a strategic matter that requires the coordination of many government agencies. Another conclusion is that information warfare, according to doctrine and theory, is conducted continuously in peacetime and wartime alike. Information warfare is also highly politicised, and the Russian intellectuals taking part in the military theory debate now embrace a view of information warfare where regime security is paramount. Among the driving forces for this is a view of the world as a zero-sum game, where globalisation is reducing Russian security, and where Russia lags behind Western countries in terms of technology.