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Bulletin of the MRSU / Section "Politics" / 2021 № 4.


A.V. Manoilo

EVOLUTION OF INFORMATION OPERATIONS. In: Bulletin of the Moscow Region State University (electronic journal), 2021, no. 4, pp. 80-103.


UDC Index: 327

Date of publication: 08.12.2021 Page: 80 - 103

The full text of the article

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Aim. This article is devoted to the study of the evolution of information warfare operations (information operations) in the latest segment of their history – from the moment of the voluntary entry of Crimea into the Russian Federation to the present day: from the very moment when, under the influence of this event, a fundamentally new organizational and technological scheme of the information operation was developed, which first actually used in the scandal with the Panamanian offshores (in the “Panama dossier”).
Methodology. In this study, the hypothesis is put forward that in the Anglo-Saxon practice of information operations, each subsequent operation is a repetition of the previous one with the addition of one or more new techniques that modernize the previous scheme and make it even more dangerous for the enemy. To test this hypothesis, all operations are lined up in chronological order and compared according to nine parameters that change as the information operations themselves become more complex, new techniques and tricks appear in their schemes and scenarios. By the manner of changes in these parameters, it is possible to track the main trends and patterns in the evolution of information operations, their schemes, forms and methods of implementation at the present stage (since 2016).
Results. The results of the study indicate that this hypothesis is generally confirmed: information operations do change over time, and their development proceeds ascending from simple models to more complex ones, while later operations become the “assemblage point” for “best practices” (the most progressive techniques and tricks), previously worked out not in one, but in a series of different operational combinations consistently. At the same time, the evolution of information operations does not always look like a single ascending general line: at some stages this line begins to “branch out”, giving several lateral alternative lines of development, which, then, at a certain moment again converge at one point, forming a new “general line of evolution “. This is how information operations at some point split into two parallel evolving lines – according to the basic tricks used in the scheme of influencing the enemy: “I spot your lies” (“WADA”, “Skripali I–II”, etc.), “I fish with bait” (“Argentinean cocaine”, “Gent”, “Butina”,”Prague case”, etc.), which then “gathered at the point of convergence” in the “Wagner identification” and “Navalny poisoning” operations.
Research implications. Information about the latest forms and methods of organizing and conducting information operations can be used in the work of state bodies responsible for organizing a systemic counteraction to information aggression of foreign states, and will also be useful to political scientists, political strategists and specialists in countering destructive political technologies.

Key words

international relations, politics, information war, hybrid war, information operation, operational combination, Russia, USA, national security

List of references

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