Ukraine’s Information Front – Strategic Communication during Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine
Publish date: 2023-04-21
Report number: FOI-R--5451--SE
Written in: English
- Operationsanalys och strategisk planering
- information warfare
- strategic communication
During the first year of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine (24 February 2022), the Ukrainian war effort superseded expectations. Meanwhile, expectations about Russian capabilities have fallen short. This is not least true in relation to the information front. The invasion highlights the importance of strategic communication during fullscale war. Ukrainian strategic communication has been one of the more impressive efforts in this war. Against this background, the purpose of this report is to better understand the Ukrainian achievements on the information front. The report presents an analysis of unique data based on interviews with practitioners and strategists in the Ukrainian communications effort. The interviews represent perspectives from both the civil and military sides of government, the news media, the private sector, and civil society. The main conclusion of the report is that Ukrainian communications during the first year of the full-scale invasion is a whole-of-society endeavour, based on a strong sense of national unity and resilience that translates into a polyphonic, nonhierarchical, and creative strategic communication effort. In terms of strategic communication in full-scale war, the Ukrainian experience is an inexhaustible source of lessons learned in relation to making the most of the preconditions, challenges, and success factors. This report is a first contribution in capturing the essence of the lessons that can be learned.