This article argues that both Russia and China will re-invigorate and expand their international espionage activities. Russia’s renewed vigour in engaging in aggressive espionage campaigns is due to the current setbacks that it is facing as a result of its ill-fated invasion of Ukraine. The sanction-induced prohibitions that limit access to state-of-the-art technologies will unleash renewed enthusiasm to obtain these latest technologies by covert means, be it HUMINT and/or cyberespionage. The future robustness of China’s aggressive espionage activities is projected to be fuelled by its systematic ‘de-coupling’ from those nations leading in science, engineering and technology, such as the United States, as well as the growing opposition to the use of developmental institutions such as the Confucius Institute and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as intelligence collection platforms. This article predicts that as Russia and China become ‘outsiders’, they will becoming increasingly aggressive in their espionage campaigns as pragmatic states acting in survival and developmental mindsets, and it elaborates on some of the more relevant forms of espionage employed.
This article addresses the hybrid challenges to the maritime security of the European Union. While hybrid threat issues are generally extensively reported in scientific literature, the authors point out that their integration with EU maritime safety issues represents a novel study strategy. The article contends that the maritime space is crucial for the prosperity and safety of EU Member States. The authors suggest potential applications for using the maritime environment as a site for hybrid impacts. The results of the conducted research are essential in determining the directions in which EU security and safety policy and those of the various Member States will develop. Attention to the possibility of using maritime spaces for hybrid warfare is a necessary condition for an effective response. Proper threat identification requires monitoring and cooperation of many actors.
Maritime traffic from the Baltic Sea and Black Sea to the Strait of Hormuz has experienced frequent and prolonged instances of radiofrequency interference which has been attributed to military exercises, anti-drone defence, and political motives. Whilst the technical vulnerabilities to maritime systems have been identified, academia has yet to contextualise those vulnerabilities when considering ongoing geopolitical tensions notably between Russia, Iran, and ‘the West’. The findings of this research indicate that spoofing vessels can complement five main strategies: (1) making navies appear more provocative than they are; (2) revealing security vulnerabilities; (3) hostage diplomacy; (4) evading sanctions; and (5) reconnaissance and sabotage. It concludes with a discussion of future scenarios and provides suggestions for countermeasures.
Abstract: This article delves into an examination of video game streaming and its impact on shaping perceptions of the Russo-Ukrainian War as an influence operation. Specifically, it investigates the case of a 16-year-old boy known as GrishaPutin who streamed a multiplayer game of Hearts of Iron IV from the ChVK Wagner Centre. Drawing upon the framework of popular geopolitics and considering the narrative, ludic, and representational dimensions of these streams, this article situates the event within the broader social context in which the influence operation unfolds. Ultimately, this paper concludes that this event represents a novel and yet to be fully established practice in the realm of influence operations. It highlights how such information operations can evolve and adapt, with non-state actors occasionally driving innovation in ways that may not have been anticipated or planned by established state entities.