Protecting Europe’s Critical Infrastructure from Russian Hybrid Threats

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Publication Date April 2023
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Hybrid tactics are used to destabilise targets by circumventing the methods of standard warfare and instead exploiting political, economic and social vulnerabilities, alongside military ones. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, European policy-makers became increasingly concerned about Moscow’s use of hybrid attacks and the threat these posed to critical infrastructure. While safeguarding critical infrastructure was primarily a national responsibility, the EU and NATO stepped up efforts to counter hybrid threats and protect critical infrastructure. The EU and NATO could further increase co-operation in this area through more extensive intelligence sharing and the intensification of joint training and exercises, to better counter hybrid threats. The EU should look to the Finnish and Swedish ‘whole-of-society’ approaches to increase resilience against hybrid threats. Countering hybrid threats required greater collaboration at all levels, including the EU, NATO, national and local governments, and civil society.


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Egmont Security Policy Briefs: No. 155, Feb. 2022: Hybrid Warfare Is not Synonymous with Cyber: The Threat of Influence Operations
EPRS Briefings: PE 659.269: Oct. 2020: Understanding EU-NATO cooperation: Theory and practice

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