Paper title:
  Media Reports as a Tool of Hybrid and Information Warfare (the Case of RT – Russia Today)
Published in:
Issue 1 (Vol. 27) / 2021
Publishing date:
Bohdan Yuskiv, Nataliia Karpchuk, Sergii Khomych
The study looks at how Russian regional hybrid warfare actions on Ukrainian territory serve as occasions for Russian global information warfare and how media messages become information weapons. The goal is to understand how events in the combat zone and the general situation in Ukraine impact basic features of Russian media reports, such as intensity, eventfulness, and intentionality. The research focused on the informative materials of the Russian multilingual international information channel Russia Today (RT). Titles and leads of over 44 thousand short information messages from October 1, 2014, to June 30, 2020, as well as more than 1 thousand extensive analytical materials for the period from October 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020, are analysed. The article demonstrates that RT media influence is deliberate, targeted, and pre-planned, beginning with the first words of the publications, i.e., the title and the lead.
Media report, Hybrid warfare, Russia, Information warfare, Ukraine, Information occasion, RT.

1. Aday Sean, Andžāns Māris, Bērziņa-Čerenkova Una, et al., Hybrid Threats. A Strategic Communications Perspective, Riga, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, 2019,
2. Armistead, Edwin Leigh, Information Warfare. Separating Hype from Reality, Wa-shington, DC: Potomac, 2007.
3. Bjerregaard, Thomas, Hybrid Warfare. A Military Revolution or Revolution in Military Affairs? Thesis for the Master of Military Art and Science, General Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2012.
4. David, G. J., McKeldlin T. R. (Eds.), Ideas as Weapons: Influence and Perception in Mo-dern Warfare, Washington, Potomac, 2009.
5. Erlanger Steven, Russia’s RT Network. Is It More BBC or K.G.B.?, in “New York Times”, 2017, March 8, in
6. Fridman Ofer, Kabernik Vitaly, Pearce James C. (Eds.), Hybrid Conflicts and Informa-tion Warfare: New Labels, Old Politics, Boulder, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2019.
7. Fridman Ofer, The Danger of “Russian Hybrid Warfare”, in “Cicero Foundation Great Debate Paper”, 2017, 17 (5), pp. 3-16,
8. Giles Keir, Russia’s ‘New’ Tools for Confronting the West. Continuity and Innovation in Moscow’s Exercise of Power, Chatham House. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2016.
9. Hoffman G. Frank, Conflict in the 21st Century. The Rise of Hybrid Wars, Arlington, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, 2007.
10. Hoffman G. Frank, Hybrid vs. Compound Wars, in “Armed Forces Journal”, 2009, Oc-tober 1,
11. Horbulin Volodymyr (ed.), Svitova hibrydna viyna. Ukrayinskyi front [World Hybrid Warfare: Ukrainian Front], Kyiv, NISD, 2017.
12. Horbulin Volodymyr, Hibrydna viyna: vse tilky pochynayetsya [Hybrid Warfare. Everything is just Beginning], in “Dzerkalo Tyzhnia”, 2016, 25 March internal/gibridna-viyna-vse-tilki-pochinayetsya.html
13. Hoskins Andrew, O’Loughlin Ben, War and Media: the Emergence of Diffused War, Cambridge, Polity, 2010.
14. Jacobs Andreas, Lasconjarias Guillaume, NATO’s Hybrid Flanks. Handling Unconven-tional Warfare in the South and the East, Research Paper, No. 112, Rome, NATO Defense College, 2015.
15. John Kerry nazvav telekanal Russia Today “ruporom propahandy”. Redaktsiya vyma-haye vybachen [John Kerry called Russia Today a "propaganda mouthpiece" and the editorial office demanded an apology], in “Media Sapiens”, 2014, April 25,
16. Kofman Michael, Rojansky Matthew, A Closer Look at Russia’s Hybrid War, in “Kennan Cable”, 2015, 7 April, in cent20CABLE-ROJANSKYper cent20KOFMAN.pdf
17. Libicki Martin C., What is Information Warfare?, Washington, National Defense Uni-versity, 1995.
18. Macdonald, Scot, Propaganda and Information Warfare in the Twenty-First Century, New York, Routledge, 2007.
19. Makhashvili Levan, The Russian information war and propaganda narratives in the European Union and the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries, in “International Journal of Social Science and Humanity”, 2017, Vol. 7 (5),
20. Mattis N. James, Hoffman Frank, Future Warfare: The Rise of Hybrid Wars, in “United States Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine”, Vol. 131, 2005, No. 11.
21. Mockaitis Thomas R., A Hybrid War: The Indonesian Confrontation, in Mockaitis Thomas R., British Counterinsurgency in the Post-Imperial Era, Manchester – New York, Manchester University Press, 1995.
22. Murray Williamson, Mansoor Peter R. (eds), Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Op-ponents from the Ancient World to the Present, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
23. Negryshev Andrey, O roli SMI v mezhkulturnoy kommunikatsii (k postanovke pro-blemy) [On the Role of the Media in Intercultural Communication (the Problem Formulation)], in “INTER-CULTUR@L-NET”, 2004, Issue 3, in
24. Nimmo Ben, Anatomy of an Info-War. How Russia’s Propaganda Machine Works, and How to Counter It, 2015, in
25. Patrikarakos David, War in 140 Characters. How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, New York, Basic Books, 2017.
26. Paul, Christopher, Information Operations: Doctrine and Practice. A Reference Hand-book, New York, Praeger, 2008.
27. Pavlova Nataliya, Grebenshchikova Taisiya, Intent-analiz postsobytiynogo diskursa v internete [Intent Analysis of Post-event Discourse on the Internet], in “Psikhologicheskiye Issledovaniya”, 2017, Vol. 10(52).
28. Pomerantsev Peter, Weiss Michael, The Menace of Unreality. How the Kremlin Weap-onizes Information, Culture, and Money, New York, Institute of Modern Russia, 2014.
29. Richterová Jitka, NATO & Hybrid Threats. Background Report, 2016, in https://www.
30. Rondeli Alexander, Moscow’s Information Campaign and Georgia, in “GFSIS Expert Opinion”, 2014, Vol. 29.
31. Scot Macdonald, Propaganda and Information Warfare in the Twenty-First Century, New York, Routledge, 2007.
32. Śliwa Zdzisław, Veebel Viljar, Lebrun Maxime, Russian Ambitions and Hybrid Modes of Warfare, in “Sojateadlane (Estonian Journal of Military Studies)”, 2018, Vol. 7, pp. 86–108, in
33. Snegovaya Maria, Russia Report 1. Putin’s Information Warfare in Ukraine. Soviet Origins of Russia’s Hybrid Warfare, Washington, Institute for the Study of War, 2015, in
34. Solomatin Aleksey, Kommunikativnyye strategii formirovaniya mezhdunarodnogo imidzha Rossii (na primere telekanala RT-Russia Today) [Communication Strategies of Russian International Image Formation (the case of RT- Russia Today)], Moscow, Academy of Mediaindustry, 2014.
35. Suits Devon L., Growing concern over information warfare continues to shape mili-tary, in “Army News Service”, 2019, December 5, in 230573/growing_concern_over_information_warfare_continues_to_shape_military
36. Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Translated by Samuel B. Griffith, New York, Oxford Uni-versity Press, 1971.
37. Ushakova Tatiana, Pavlova Natalia (Eds.), Slovo v deystvii. Intent-analiz politiches-kogo diskursa [Word in Action. Political Discourse Intent Analysis], StPeterburg, Aleteya, 2000.
38. Veebel Viljar, Markus Raul, Die Wirtschaftssanktionen als die Mittel der Internationa-len Druck, in “Discussions on Estonian Economic Policy”, 2015, Vol. 1.
39. Veebel Viljar, Russian Propaganda, Disinformation, and Estonia’s Experience, Tallinn, Foreign Policy Research Institute, 2015, in
40. Ventre Daniel, Information Warfare (2nd ed.), San Francisco, Wiley-ISTE, 2016.
41. Wijk De, Rob, Hybrid Conflict and the Changing Nature of Actors, in Julian Lindley-French, Yves Boyer (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 358-372.
42. Wilson Andrew, Four Types of Russian Propaganda, Prague, Aspen Institute, 2015.
43. Yuskiv Bohdan, Khomych Sergii, Rol media-propahandy v umovakh “hibrydnoyi viy-ny” [The Role of Media Propaganda under Conditions of Hybrid Warfare], in “Aktualni Problemy Mizhnarodnykh Vidnosyn”, 2017, Vol. 132, pp. 27-43.
44. Yuskiv Bohdan, Khomych Sergii, Ukraińsko-rosyjski konflikt na wschodzie Ukrainy a propaganda w mediach rosyjskich [The Ukrainian-Russian conflict in eastern Ukraine and propaganda in the Russian media], in Na pograniczach. Kultura – literature – media, Sanok, Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa, 2017, s. 173-191.