Lady Justice with Gun

Russia's weaponization of international and domestic law

Waging Lawfare

January 2020, Number 10.01

“Russia’s attempts to assert its hegemonic ambitions against Ukraine and other countries in its “near abroad” — what Moscow perceives as a region of its privileged interests — have posed serious challenges not only to the security of the region, but to the international order. During its ongoing comprehensive hybrid warfare campaign against Ukraine, the Kremlin has employed a full range of nonmilitary tools (political, diplomatic, economic, information, cyber) and military ones — conventional and covert. Given the prominent role of Russia’s information and cyber warfare, those two hybrid warfare domains have received most of the public attention and analytical effort so far. However, there is a third pivotal element of Russia’s hybrid toolbox — “lawfare” (legal warfare), which is critically important and equally dangerous, but has remained understudied by the analytical community and is effectively still unknown to the public. Given lawfare’s central role in Russia’s comprehensive strategy, Russia’s neighbors, NATO and the West must develop a deeper understanding of this hybrid warfare domain and design a unified strategy to counter this major challenge to the European security architecture and the entire world order...”

Excerpt from Mark Voyger, “Waging Lawfare,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  10, No. 1, 2020: 32-39.

Mark Voyger is the cultural advisor and senior Russia expert at NATO’s Allied Land Command. Between 2009 and 2013 he worked for the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan and has worked for nongovernmental organizations and think tanks in the U.S. and Eastern Europe. He has a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.