Russia’s ‘hybrid’ aggression against Ukraine
Conventional wisdom often deems that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine was caused by a mix of transient factors, such as the views of a few people at the very top, President Vladimir Putin above all, suffering from a wounded amour-proper, post-Imperial syndrome and a parochial mentality. It is indeed difficult to find out when exactly Russia’s ruling clique started to plan a war on Ukraine in a practical manner. The Russian military command developed its own concept of a hybrid war. Historically, Moscow expected to achieve its objectives towards Ukraine by controlling the Ukrainian ruling elite. Russian propaganda claimed that the very idea of Novorossiya is of defensive nature. Some Moscow pundits added that among the real goals of this project, there was prevention of Ukraine’s membership in NATO. Many in Moscow portrayed the annexation of Crimea as the brilliant success of the hybrid war tactics and the example of excellently executed military operation.