Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Joshua First

Relational Format



This thesis investigates Russia's use of hybrid warfare in Ukraine, and whether the endeavor was successful. In order for Russian hybrid warfare to have been successful, the costs and repercussions of their actions must not outweigh their achieved goals. For this thesis, it was assumed that Russia's goals are: locking NATO and the EU out of Russia's remaining sphere of influence, demonstrating Russian solidarity, gaining territory, and boosting popularity for the current administration. Russia was able to achieve all of these goals with the annexation of Crimea and use of military force in the Donbass region. The costs of these actions included high military spending, infrastructure costs and financial losses, and international backlash. This can be separated into the economic and political sector. Economically, Russia faces massive costs, which are sure to increase in the coming years, in an already weakened economy. Politically, Russia has been shunned by the West and now seeks closer ties with its eastern neighbors. While these costs are high, EU and NATO presence has not spread further West, Russia has shown its ability to act in the region, and Putin's popularity in Russia remains extremely high. With these factors in mind, it can be deemed that Russia's hybrid war in Ukraine was successful, although marginally so.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

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