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Opinion / Editorial

The role of information services in the Russian-Ukrainian war

The role of information services in the Russian-Ukrainian war

Intelligence services play a vital role in any war, often serving as an invisible force that can tip the balance in favor of victory or defeat for the warring parties. They supply military decision-makers with essential information and enable them to get to know the enemy as deeply as possible, plan strategic operations, and make the right choices on the battlefield. The Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict has clearly highlighted the irreplaceable role of information in shaping the course of modern wars. During the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict, real-time and accurate information provided by information services is crucial for protecting national interests, regional stability, and formulating effective security responses. As the Russian-Ukrainian war continues, the news services remain key actors in processing the results and paving the way to a peaceful and just solution to the problem. The information activity in war consists of the collection, analysis and dissemination of data on the enemy, the environment and the potential results of combat actions. Information is essential for planning, executing and evaluating military operations, as well as for anticipating and countering threats, for situational awareness and decision support. According to many authors, one of whom is the specialist in this field, Nikolla Sfetku (2023), to whom I am referring below, information can be obtained from various sources, such as human intelligence (HUMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), intelligence imagery (IMINT), geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), open source intelligence (OSINT), and cyber intelligence (CYBINT). Thus, it is said, HUMINT can provide data on the adversary's intentions, motivations, and capabilities; SIGINT can intercept and decode enemy communications and electronic emissions; IMINT can capture images of terrain, facilities and activities of interest; GEOINT can provide spatial and temporal data on physical features and developments on Earth; MASINT can detect, locate and analyze the distinguishing characteristics of targets; OSINT can collect and analyze data from publicly available sources, such as the media, social networks, or academic publications, while CYBINT can monitor and exploit cyber activities and adversary weaknesses. Information activity in warfare can also be classified according to its level of analysis, as would strategic, operational, or tactical information activity. Strategic intelligence provides a broad and long-term perspective on the global and regional security environment.Operational intelligence supports the planning and implementation of campaigns and major operations, while tactical intelligence focuses on the current and specific situation of a unit or a mission. Information activity in war is a dynamic and complex field that needs adaptation, constant adjustment, renewal and cooperation with different actors and agencies. The Russian-Ukrainian war is an extremely complex example, with major implications for regional and global security. At the center of this conflict is the special role of information. Before the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, failures in the informational activity on the part of the Ukrainian authorities and Western agencies have come to the fore. The annexation of Crimea by Russia took them by surprise, testifying to a lack of awareness of Ukrainians and Westerners regarding Russian intentions or to a failure in the efficient interpretation of gathered information. This miscalculation gave Russia a strategic advantage and set the stage for new tensions and confrontations. The Russian-Ukrainian war, which began in 2014 and ended with Russia's occupation of Crimea, had consequences with serious consequences for regional stability and international relations. Information agencies have played an essential role in modeling the course of this conflict, providing valuable data for decision-making factors influencing the implementation of military strategies. information services in the war. The latter use advanced technologies and qualified agents to intercept communications, monitor and analyze satellite images, etc., to create a more realistic and comprehensive picture of the enemy's capacities, goals and weak points. In the Russo-Ukrainian war, both Russia and Ukraine rely heavily and primarily on intelligence services to interpret each other's troop movements, military capabilities, and adversary's strategic intentions. The information also plays an important role in identifying the supply lines and routes of the Russian forces. On the other hand, the Russians' sophisticated use of information at their disposal has enabled them to exploit the weak points of the Ukrainian military, occupy strategic areas and maintain surprise in the actions they undertake. The ability to gather real-time data has facilitated Russia's hybrid warfare tactics, including cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns and support for separatist groups in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, the dissemination by Ukrainians of information related to Russia's involvement in the conflict has influenced international public opinion and stimulated solidarity with Ukraine and the implementation of sanctions against Russia.Western allies provide Ukraine with ongoing support, military and political assistance, as well as strategic advice. The information activity is not limited only to the collection of data from the enemy, but also to their protection from de-conspiracy. Counterintelligence measures are aimed at stopping the enemy from infiltrating and gathering information from among friendly countries. This is extremely important for operational security and confidentiality of strategies and tactics. Identifying and neutralizing enemy spies can have the effect of disrupting the opposing party's plans. We noted above that the Russians widely use disinformation and hybrid tactics, while Ukrainian intelligence services play a significant role in detecting and countering them through monitoring social networks, online forums, and traditional media to counter narratives and data. false, aimed at public outrage. As early as May 2014, the word goes, the Russia-1 TV channel broadcast material about alleged Ukrainian crimes using footage from a 2012 Russian operation in the North Caucasus. Information services can play an important role in psychological warfare, where the dissemination of carefully processed data can weaken the morale of troops, cause confusion and uncertainty, etc. The collection of accurate information by Ukrainian intelligence services on enemy positions, movements and infrastructure enables successful strikes to be carried out and collateral damage and civilian casualties to be minimized.enemy movements and infrastructure enable successful strikes to be undertaken and collateral damage and civilian casualties to be reduced.enemy movements and infrastructure enable successful strikes to be undertaken and collateral damage and civilian casualties to be reduced.