Is the European Migration Crisis Caused by Russian Hybrid Warfare?

  •  Viljar Veebel    


Recent developments in European security situation, starting with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, followed by the complicated Brexit and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa, have given rise to instability in the European Union. Yet, none of the other factors could be compared with the risks caused by the massive influx of refugees into the EU that challenges both solidarity and responsibility of the member states. In this context, it is extremely important to understand the actual security threats related to the refugee crisis and the root causes of growing refugee flows. This article discusses the roots of large-scale migration flows in the European Union (EU) over the present decade and investigates the potential link between migration flows and modern hybrid warfare, referring to the coordination of various modes of warfare, such as military and non-military means, conventional and non-conventional capabilities, state and non-state actors with an aim to cause instability and disarrangement. It is intriguing to investigate whether the increase in migration flows could be linked to present confrontation in the global arena on the Russia-West axis. Common patterns of migration flows from Syria and Ukraine to the EU are discussed, as well as policy recommendations are given to diminish the negative impact of similar events in the future.

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