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LMC 2022

To the Limit: War, Social Media, and Intelligence

Paul Engemann, Scarface (Push it to the Limit) [1983]

New features have emerged in the information space during Russia’s war in Ukraine. The most dramatic change has seen the West’s intelligence services publishing their intelligence, weaponising hitherto secret material to fight Putin using his own methods of psychological warfare. Meanwhile, the fighting between armed forces on the physical battlefield has been complemented by the war fought by citizens on social media. Also, there has been a flourishing of open-source investigative journalism, including the documentation of war crimes.


Anton Barbashin

Co-founder and an Editorial Director at Riddle Russia

Avril Haines

Director, National Intelligence of the United States

Flemming Splidsboel Hansen

Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies

Piotr Krawczyk

Head of Service, the Foreign Intelligence Agency of Poland


Edward Lucas

Non-Resident Senior Fellow and Senior Adviser at CEPA

  • As Russian society is largely cut off from the Western media space, who is the target for intelligence publication?
  • Is it meant to directly influence President Putin or the Russian army?
  • Do the possible risks of exposing methods and sources outweigh the benefits?
  • How does this new approach affect the intelligence services themselves?
  • How has social media changed warfare?
  • What are the implications for international law?
  • Can the war online and meme battles change real-life outcomes?

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