Rock Rachon: Gerasimov doctrine and Russia’s hybrid warfare strategy

The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border continues as new waves of migrants keep trying to force their way into Poland, encouraged by Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime. EU countries blame Minsk for using migrants as a means of hybrid warfare adhering to the “Gerasimov Doctrine.” This was the main topic of discussion in the most recent episode of TVP World’s Rock Rachon.

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Every day Poland faces numerous dangerous encounters with migrants trying to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border. The Border Guard has already recorded over 36,000 attempts to illegally cross the border, 7,000 of which occurred in November.

Rock Rachon’s guests were: General Ben Hodges, Mark Temnycky and Matthew Tyrmand.

Ben Hodges is a retired United States army officer who served as a commanding general. He currently holds the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis.

“Clearly this is an attempts to provoke Polish soldiers or border guards, as well as Lithuanian’s and Latvian’s to shoot, to do something that would create a scenario that at a minimum would cause Poland to look bad, but also it could lead to a humanitarian crisis where then the Kremlin would say ‘we have to come in and do something about it,’ and now you have got Russian troops in the Suwałki corridor which obviously is not a good situation,” the general said.

He also mentioned how Russia uses the “Gerasimov Doctrine” in their hybrid warfare. “Russia uses all the tools, from disinformation to gas, to the threat of nuclear strike and everything in between, to put pressure on its neighbours,” General Hodges stressed.

Mark Temnycky is an accredited freelance journalist covering eastern Europe and its impact on US and European foreign policy and National Security. He has been published by Forbes, the EU Observer and Diplomatic courier.

Mr Temnycky stressed that the situation on the border is “very dangerous,” because of the recent exercises conducted by Russia, and the Kremlin's ability “to amass 100,000 troops in a matter of three weeks”.

He also mentioned the energy crisis and how it connects to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. By completing the pipeline Russia could easily control the taps bypassing countries like Poland and Ukraine and sending gas straight to Germany. “Second of all it gives Russia an energy monopoly because it will be able to control all these gas pipelines and it will be able to control the prices,” the freelance journalist emphasised.

The last guest on the show was Matthew Tyrmand who is a Polish-American economist, publicist and social activist writing for “Do Rzeczy” and “Wprost” weeklies.