Ukraine’s Counter-Hybrid Campaigns in Cyberspace


In reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian government stood up a variety of digital services and volunteer groups to counter Russia’s aggression in and through cyberspace. This paper by guest author Stefan Soesanto, Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich, focuses on two Ukrainian hybrid warfare creations and their activities within the period from February 2022 to July 2023: The IT Army of Ukraine (IT-армія України) which are conducting DDoS and destructive cyber operations in and through the cyber domain, and the Internet Force of Ukraine (Інтернет Війська України) who are active on the information warfare front.

The paper provides readers with insights into (a) how the IT Army and Internet Forces are internally organized and structured, (b) how they function and conduct their campaigns, (c) how they are incorporating volunteers from across the globe and at home, and (d) how these two groups are linked to the Ukrainian government. The author also touches upon broader questions, such as (e) the discernible impact of these campaigns, (f) the subsequent complications for law of armed conflict, and what lessons could be learned.

Read the full report here.

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

HCSS conducts research and provides advice on geopolitical and defence & security issues to governments, international institutions and businesses. Our research is characterized by a datadriven, multidisciplinary approach, specialist knowledge and a strategic orientation. We combine broad, conceptual knowledge with qualitative and quantitative methods and present our findings in the form of recommendations, strategic explorations and scenario analyses