Dr Sergii Glebov

Sergii Glebov.

ISA Toronto, March 2019. Abstract, round table.


In times when human security emerges to be on top of a security discourse, there is an urgent need to check availability of civilians to resist all the variety of possible threats coming out from  hybrid warfare. The case of Ukraine after 2013 appeared to be a textbook case of modern hybrid warfare which Russia wages against Ukrainian state since an illegal annexation of Crimea.

Human security, as part of national interests, which in their new version prioritize individual interests and interests of society over the interest of a state, is extremely vulnerable for those civilians, who are facing a major threat during a hybrid war. The notion of a “hybrid war” itself needs to be discussed widely, as far as there are different cases and models of its expression for the last 5 years at least. Thus, it is essential to trace a spillover effect from the interaction between centers of decision-making both on the international and national levels during a hybrid war and its implication on civilians and their ability to resist.

From a methodological point of view, it is important to examine a specific correlation in such theoretical pentagon:

  1. international actors (primarily states and international organizations, their positions and policies toward the victims/aggressors; evolution of the international law to adjust its norms for a better protection of civilians from avoiding/minimizing a volume of harm/losses up to the establishing new system of sanctions to preempt/prevent hybrid aggression in advance; improvement crisis-management mechanism after the hybrid attack; role of international media, etc.) –
  2. national actors (president and/or government; other institutions of power, like parliament and local authorities; prisoners of war, and those civilians, who suffer from an attacks, both hybrid and traditional; improving domestic legislation in a sphere of protection of temporarily displaced persons; national media, political parties, volunteers, civil society activists, etc.) –
  3. military and law enforcement bodies (army, national guard, police, security services, individuals; decision-making, operations’ planning, errors, drills, etc.) –
  4. civilians – (nation/society, leaders/individuals, values, civilians in a zone of a military conflict, civilians on the occupied territory, temporarily displaced persons, etc.) –
  5. hybrid warfare (hard- (military, conventional) and sof- (non-military) components of modern hybrid warfare, like cyber attacks, information warfare; border control; information security, cyber security, etc.).

All the above mentioned theoretical approaches and fragments could assist:

– in better understanding the case of Ukraine as well as its changed strategic culture during the time of a hybrid war;

– in better understanding new security environment and needs of civilians in the era of global hybrid conflicts.

My current Fulbright fellowship gave a chance to go deeper into a theoretical structure of a resilient civilians as well as rich empirical experience in detecting vulnerability for the civilians and strong sides of protecting communities at the 4 border areas so far (like the border line between the U.S. and Mexico at San Diego – Tijuana, San Diego – Tecate, Douglas – Agua Prieta, and El Paso – Ciudad Juarez). Trump’s “Wall” on the border with Mexico accompanied by a discourse on security, national interests, and democracy appeared to be a perfect case to understanding the nature of the bordering neighborhood. This knowledge will also be applied to the case of Ukraine as far as the issue of the common uncontrolled Ukraine-Russia border in the East of Ukraine is an integral part of the Minsk agreements and touches upon the high interest of the locals who suffer from the hybrid warfare.