Hybrid war, hybrid freedom of expression? Restrictions on media over threats to national security in the Baltic states and Ukraine
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The emergence and practical development of the concept of hybrid war multiplied challenges for affected governments and the international community. While hybrid adversaries take advantage of gaps in international law, resorting to conventional and unconventional methods of war, targeted states seek their own ways to counter the new type of warfare. In their struggle, information operations come as some of the primary threats able to disrupt the country’s stability and jeopardize human rights, including such as freedom of expression. In their will to defend national security Ukraine and the Baltic states resorted to a range of severe limitations on freedom of the media. With their dynamic examples, this text scrutinizes states’ practice in opposing Russia’s disinformation and propaganda and their compliance with international standards. Whereas hybrid threats in these countries persist in parallel to international criticism for violations of the fundamental freedom, the research elaborates on how democratic states can protect their integrity, simultaneously, preserving freedom of expression under circumstances of hybrid war.