Ukrainian Ambassador Warns Of Russian Hybrid Threats

Andrej Babiš, Miloš Zeman, Russian Influence

Prague, May 21 (CTK) – Russia is incapable of competing with the West in the attractiveness of its political and cultural model, which is why it is waging a hybrid war against the West, Yevhen Perebyinis, the Ukrainian ambassador to the Czech Republic, said at a conference Challenges for Europe in Prague today.


He said the EU must admit that it is at war with Russia and start acting accordingly.


Russia has strong ambitions, which, however, are only leaning on its gas export and nuclear arsenal. Otherwise, Russia lacks the capabilities that would enable it to catch up with the West, Perebyinis said.


He said Russia has been waging a hybrid war against a number of countries and this conflict has reached different phases in different countries now. In Ukraine, it has developed into the phase of armed fighting, while in the EU, Moscow has tested their population by means of disinformation campaigns and other methods for the time being, Perebyinis said.


When the Russian Alexandrov army music ensemble arrives in the Czech Republic, it is no cultural presentation but a subconscious threat. If the Night Wolves Russian motor bikers’ group arrives in Prague, their goal is not to commemorate WWII victims but exert pressure on Czech society,” Perebyinis said, alluding to the Night Wolves’ recent presence in Prague.


The EU must admit that it is at war with Russia, which is the only way for it to start reacting effectively. One of possible reactions is the blocking of Russia’s propaganda servers, he said.


The Czechs would definitely not allow Russia to bring its tanks to the Czech Republic, and, similarly, they should not allow disinformation servers to operate in the country, which are nothing else but further weapons, Perebyinis said.


He said Russia is an authoritarian state which misuses the democratic foundations of other countries, such as the freedom of speech, to pursue its own aims.


Estonian analyst Dmitri Teperik said at the conference that the hybrid conflict pursued by Russia may have a long-term impact on Europe.


It is not merely a simple propaganda. Russia is trying to change the system of functioning of the society in individual countries, Teperik said.