Abstract. The article examines the definition of NATO information operations and specifics of their conduct pertaining to certain examples, including those against the Russian Federation. The scientific relevance of the chosen research topic is due to its insufficient study in political science in view of the novelty of the chosen issues. The purpose of this study is to analyze the features of NATO information operations as well as their main international consequences with special regard to issues associated with Russia. This policy analysis is achievable through the application of an interdisciplinary approach to highlighting the various stages of defining NATO information operations through historical, political and psychological analysis of the distinct aspects of such operations. The theory of information operations is based on the works of the classics of political communication, such as G. D. Lasswell and B. McNair, who discussed in detail the tactics of manipulation and propaganda, as well as P. Lazarsfeld and R. K. Merton, C. E. Merriam, T. V. Adorno, and G. Marcuse, whose research is concerned with explaining the spread of ideas through various media in order to influence the mass consciousness within a collective social entity. Among the Russian authors, it is worth noting the works of M. M. Lebedeva on the stereotypes of mass consciousness in the conditions of international conflicts. The research of T. V. Evgen’eva can be used as a basic guide to the interpretation of modern information operations. To support their standpoint, the author provides detailed analysis of how information operations can be defined and divided into stages. The analysis is entwined with vivid examples of information operations conduct, particularly, amid NATO humanitarian interventions, the Sergey Skripal attack, the HMS Defender incident and diminishing the USSR’s role in WWII. The author concludes that the deterioration of diplomatic relations is provoked by an overall imperception of the information operations’ definition and the clear laws governing NATO information operations, though some space for activating Russia–NATO cooperation still exists.
Keywords: Russia, NATO, UK, information operations, political communication, terrorism, diplomacy
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