Russia’s Hybrid War

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Deepfakes during the Slovak elections, anti-Jewish graffiti in France, and globally bribed politicians. Russia has already been at war with the West for a long time, but we didn’t notice. They haven’t been fighting with bullets and grenades, this time the battlefield is online, and in the shadowy world of espionage. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, Russia is investing massively in influencing the narrative in Western society and politics. It’s all part of Russia’s hybrid war. But what is hybrid warfare, and how does it work? And how do we arm ourselves against it?

In the run-up to the European elections, Russia sees an opportunity to exploit the dissatisfaction of Europe’s population to help Russian-friendly parties come to power. Russia has an arsenal of tools to do so, this event will pick apart how we can recognize influencing and why The Netherlands is a very interesting target for Moscow.

About the speakers

Pekka Kallioniemi (PhD) is a Finnish expert on social media and disinformation. He works at Tampere University. Besides researching state-of-the-art technologies, he’s also studied Russian online information operations and disinformation. Kallioniemi has published the popular “vatnik soup” series on X. Since January 2023, he’s worked as a columnist for the British newspaper Byline Times.

Peter Reesink is the new director (February 2024) of the MIVD, the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service. Previously, he was the director of operations at the Department of Defense. Reesink started his career at the Royal Naval Institute in Den Helder. He fulfilled various operational and administrative positions, including commander of several naval ships and chief director of personnel.

Eva Cukier is Russia correspondent for NRC. After two and a half years in Moscow, the newspaper decided to bring her back to the Netherlands last summer, due to the unsafe working situation for journalists. She still reports on Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Caucasus.

Frans Timmermans is the leader of GroenLinks-PvdA in the House of Representatives since November 2023. Previously he served for the PvdA in 1998-2007 and 2010-2012. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands and Vice-President of the European Commission. He was responsible for the European Green Deal, amongst other things.


Pekka KallioniemiExpert on social media and disinformation
Peter ReesinkDirector MIVD (Dutch military intelligence and security service)
Eva CukierRusland-correspondent NRC
Frans TimmermansLeader of GroenLinks-PvdA
Yoeri Albrecht
Yoeri Albrecht Algemeen & Artistiek Directeur De Balie