Russian Information Warfare in Slovakia

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Marek Kakascik
Since the annexation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has considerably increased its usage of information warfare in Europe. The Slovak Republic and the whole region of Central and Eastern Europe are particularly vulnerable to these attacks due to their frail political structure and civil society. No government strategy is known that would explain overall strategical, operational, and tactical goals Russia is trying to achieve by its campaign. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate the reasons for the Russian employment of information warfare in Slovakia. To this end, two hypotheses are formulated based on the premises of soft power and strategic culture concepts and the theory of offensive realism. Verification of these hypotheses is conducted by content analysis of Russian strategic documents, speeches by relevant figures, and secondary sources. Throughout the analytical process, multiple government documents and speeches support the viability of the formulated hypotheses. This thesis concludes that Russia has a particular strategic culture that allows for aggressive behavior. It perceives the West, as represented by the US and institutions such as NATO and the EU, as its rival. Russia has adopted its own interpretation of the soft power concept and views soft power in an instrumental way. Thus, Western soft power is seen as a threat, and to counter it, Russia attempts to curb Western soft power and to generate its own soft power by using information warfare. At the same time, Russia struggles for regional hegemony over the region of Central and Eastern Europe with the West. Slovakia is a target of information warfare because Russia uses it, and other strategies, to gain an advantage in the regional struggle.
Publication dateMay 2020
Number of pages69
ID: 333068389