The challenges for Central Europe posed by the rivalry of the Russian Federation below the threshold of war

Wyzwania dla Europy Centralnej wynikające z prowadzenia przez Federację Rosyjską rywalizacji poniżej granicy otwartego konfliktu zbrojnego

ORCID: Mirosław Banasik: 0000-0002-9358-1240

Afiliacja: Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland

Pages: 9-26

Edition: Lublin 2020


Citation method: M. Banasik, The challenges for Central Europe posed by the rivalry of the Russian Federation below the threshold of war, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 9-26, DOI:

Keywords:, ,

Abstract: This article identifies the political challenges for Central Europe resulting from the Russian Federation conducting competition below the threshold of war. The main research methods, both inductive and deductive, were analysis and a survey of the existing literature. There is still aggression in international rivalry, and its level is deliberately regulated so as not to cross the threshold of open armed conflict as defined by international law. The contemporary rivalry of the Russian Federation takes on an unlimited scope and goes beyond the physical sphere: the main emphasis in its application is on non-military and non-lethal forms of influence that can be easily combined with kinetic ones. The exploitation of the space between the binary borders of war and peace was practically verified both under the Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. It has been confirmed that a great deal of importance in Russia is now attached to unconventional activities and that their application offers great opportunities to achieve strategic objectives without the need to resort to direct military confrontation.


Białocerkiewicz, J., Prawo międzynarodowe publiczne. Zarys wykładu, Olsztyn, 2005.

Blank, S.J., Grinter, L.E., Magyar, K.P. et al., Conflict, Culture, and History: Regional Dimensions, Maxwell, 1993, .

Clark, C., ‘CJCS Dunford Calls For Strategic Shifts; “At Peace Or At War Is Insufficient”’, Breaking Defense, 21 September 2016,

Connable, B., Campbell, J.H., Madden, D., Stretching and Exploiting Thresholds for High-Order War. How Russia, China, and Iran Are Eroding American Influence Using Time-Tested Measures Short of War, Santa Monica, 2018,

Deeks, A., McCubbin, S., Poplin, C., ‘Addressing Russian Influence: What Can We Learn From U.S. Cold War Counter-Propaganda Efforts?’, Lawfare Blog, 25 October 2017,,

Defence and National Security Strategic Review 2017 – Key Points, Paris, 2017,

Dickey, J.V., Everett, T.B, Galvach, Z.M. et al., Russian political warfare: origin, evolution, and application, Monterey, 2016,

Elliott, J.K., ‘Theatricality and deception: How Russia uses “maskirovka” to shake the world’, Global News, 9 June 2018,

Fiott, D., Parkes, R., Protecting Europe. The EU’s response to hybrid threats, Paris: European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), 2019,

Heather, A.C., Mina, J., Stefanov, R. et al., The Kremlin Playbook. Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe, Lanham, Boulder, New York, London, 2016,

Kofman, M., Migacheva, K., Nichiporuk, B. et al., Lessons from Russia’s Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Santa Monica, 2017, RAND_RR1498.pdf.

Liang, Q., Xiangsui, W., Unrestricted Warfare, Beijing, 1999,

Lucas, S., Mistry, K., ‘Illusions of Coherence: George F. Kennan, U.S. Strategy and Political Warfare in the Early Cold War 1946-1950’, Diplomatic History, January 2009, vol. 33, issue 1, pp. 39-66,,

Mała encyklopedia wojskowa, vol. 3, Warszawa, 1971.

Measures Short of War: The George F. Kennan Lectures at the National War College, 1946–1947, eds. G.D. Harlow, G.C. Maerz, Washington, 1991,,

Moore, C., ‘Russia and Disinformation: Maskirovka’, 18 March 2019,

Pawłowski, J., Słownik terminów z zakresu bezpieczeństwa narodowego, Warszawa, 2005.

Polyakova, A., Laruelle, M., Meister, S. et al., The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses. Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Washington, 2016,’s%20Trojan%20Horses.pdf.

Pronk, D., ‘The Return of Political Warfare’, Strategic Monitor, 2018-2019,

Roberts, J.Q., Maskirovka 2.0: Hybrid Threat, Hybrid Response, Washington, 2015,

Robinson, L., Helmus, T.C., Cohen, R.S. et al., Modern Political Warfare: Current Practices and Possible Responses, Santa Monica, 2018.

Rosa, I., ‘Bitwa na Kulikowym Polu – świt potęgi Moskwy’,,

Schuman, T.D., Love Letter to America, Los Angeles, 1984,

Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge, Washington, 2018,,

Keywords:, ,