The Russian invasions of Ukraine in 2014 and 2022 represented not only attempts to erase Ukrainian sovereignty but were also linked to a larger campaign by the Kremlin to undermine trust in democratic institutions, scientific data, and resilience of Western societies. This form of hybrid warfare has long taken a particular focus on energy systems, both in attempts to maintain Russian oil and gas exports, and to target energy infrastructure in invaded states like Ukraine. This article briefly traces the origins of the Russian government’s “assault on truth,” revealing how the information battlespace has affected global climate politics. The disruption of climate politics has long been a goal of the Kremlin and its allies – we argue that the ongoing energy crisis must be approached carefully, with particular attention to countering anti-science and anti-climate efforts.
hybrid warfare, climate politics, energy politics, Russia
Chad M. Briggs
Chad M. Briggs, Ph.D. is Professor of Disaster Risk Management at the Asian Institute of Management, Principal Consultant at Global Interconnections LLC, and Global Security Studies lecturer at Johns Hopkins University. He is an executive member of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC), was previously at RIT-Kosovo, and was the Minerva Professor and Chair of Energy and Environmental Security at Air University (USAF). Briggs has worked on cyber and infrastructure protection in Ukraine with USAF, NATO and the EU, including volunteering since 2014 on advising Ukrainian security experts and officials on irregular/hybrid warfare and information operations.
Miriam Matejova, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Masaryk University and a fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. She is an editor at Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, and formerly a lecturer at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations. Dr. Matejova holds a PhD in Political Science from UBC. She has published articles on energy and environmental security, global environmental activism, foreign intelligence, and international conflict management.