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Blending New-generation Warfare and Soft Power: Hybrid Dimensions of Russia-Bulgaria Relations

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 17, Issue 1, p.5-19 (2018)

Keywords:

Bulgaria, Hybrid threats, hybrid warfare, Russia, soft power

Abstract:

In order to effectively counter hybrid warfare, it is necessary to understand it. However, certain aspects of hybrid warfare are often confused with traditional soft power. This article aims to highlight the differences between the two by analyzing the relationship between Bulgaria and Russia. The latter enjoys considerable opportunities to exercise soft power, but often must accompany them with hybrid means. Yet, labeling everything as hybrid warfare becomes detrimental to the topic itself. Moreover, it runs the risk of ascribing greater power to the Kremlin which may not truly be the case. The aim of the authors is to expose the threats, opportunities, and limits of Russian influence in Bulgaria and the possible outcomes.