Winning the Information War on Our Field in Accordance With Our Rules

NEW – May 29, 2022

Now a debate is raging on the Internet about the statement made by the Adviser to the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Ilnitsky about the information war. I watched this video and I am sure that his message was not correctly perceived, and he, in turn, did not reveal his thought in clear language. I will allow myself to express my opinion on this and get my portion of stones from all sides.

Ilnitsky very correctly said that it is impossible to win an information war according to the rules and on the opponent’s field. This is true, and the enemy’s main information weapon is his own brainchild – the global Internet. We all felt the effect in the short term, when only the blocking on the YouTube platform of the pages of many Russian media outlets and opinion leaders caused a shock in our information space and for some time destroyed the structure of informational work. And in war, the one who wins time wins. But there are other information platforms, the development of which we ourselves have allowed and stimulated, and which have become a weapon of manipulation and deception, for example, Instagram. And there are many such examples.

However, all of this does not mean that we should not fight and defend on this field. We’ve been on this field for a long time and it’s not easy to get away from it. For example, in a real war, if the enemy has started using new and effective weapons, then this does not mean that we immediately need to surrender. This only means that you need to change tactics, manoeuvre and create your own analogue of this weapon.

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We don’t have an analogue of this weapon yet, so we need to proceed from the realities. I don’t consider myself a great expert in information warfare, but since this is my channel and someone is interested in my thoughts, I will allow myself to share them.

1) We are obliged to hold the defence, being on the enemy’s field, which we were dragged onto long before this war. Therefore, I disagree with the speaker and say that we are obliged to demonstrate our successes at the front in exactly the same way as the failures of the enemy. Ilnitsky correctly said that the information war, which is also mental, goes first of all for the minds of people, and secondly for their behaviour. If we don’t show people our version of what is happening, then our enemy will do it for us, which will affect people’s worldview and behaviour.

2) We are obliged to counterattack while on the enemy’s field. Distract the enemy with one’s information diversions, mislead their soldiers and officers, etc. We are obliged to seize the initiative and force the enemy to defend itself otherwise it will spend all its time hitting us.

3) While we are on the defensive with the transition to a local counteroffensive, we need to change tactics and create our own field and our own rules. A mental war for the minds of people, so we must make people immune to the “new weapon” of the enemy. Make the enemy’s rules ineffective and carefully leave its field, and in the future – drag it to our own. To do this, we need to create a stable and understandable ideology. Ilnitsky casually touched on this topic when he said the phrase: “Who are we? What do we stand for?”.., but he was apparently distracted and did not reveal his thought. We need an ideology that will give answers to these questions and indicate the path we should follow, indicate the goal we should strive for.

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4) We need to be creative. Creativity is always unpredictable for the enemy. It is necessary to choose from the format of leaflets, wall newspapers and linear thinking. We have long started living in an era when information technology has immersed the entire active population in the virtual world for 80% of their free time. To do this, it’s necessary to create and hire specialists who are able to think creatively, who see this world from a different angle.

This is not a complete list of what could have been written, but in my opinion, probably the main thing here. I really hope that I managed to convey my thoughts correctly.

Daniil Bezsonov

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