Criminal Policy Challenges under Conditions of Hybrid War: Some Issues and Solutions from Ukraine

Open access


This article studies the specifics of national criminal policy implementation under the influence of extraordinary geopolitical factors on it. Such policy will be reviewed with Ukraine serving as an appropriate example. This country has been recently forced to adjust its own ways of implementation of the state policy against crime based on atypical modern challenges and threats. This refers to the special nature of a hybrid war, which has been actively fought on the territory of Ukraine since 2014. The author examines two key areas of criminal policy (definition of the limits of criminal behavior and establishing criminal law consequences of the committed offenses), implemented under the extraordinary circumstances of hybrid war. Symptomatic features of the hybrid form of foreign aggression are defined in the piece. At the same time, options of criminal law in combating and preventing such aggression are researched.

Special focus is placed on new acts that have been criminalized as well as those that might need further criminalization. Attention is paid to the issues of criminal law protection of national and historical memory, and to the concept of journalism related crimes. The importance of amnesty as an effective tool to resolve conflicts between individual and state is also emphasized in the article.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Agger Kasper. “The End of Amnesty in Uganda: Implications for LRA Defections.” (August 2012) //

  • 2. Baulin Yurii Buromenskyi Mykhailo Holina Volodymyr et al. Suchasna kryminalno-pravova systema v Ukraini: realii ta perspektyvy (Modern Criminal Legal System in Ukraine: Realities and Prospects). Kyiv: BAITE 2005.

  • 3. “Be aware of Russian and ISIS propaganda warn Foreign affairs MEPs.” (October 2016) //

  • 4. Borysov V’iacheslav and Pavlo Fris. “Poniattia kryminalno-pravovoi polityky (The Definition of Criminal Policy).” Visnyk Asotsiatsii kryminalnoho prava Ukrainy 1 (2013): 15–31.

  • 5. Borysov V’iacheslav Tatsii Vasyl Tiutiuhin Volodymyr et al. Kryminalne pravo Ukrainy. Zahalna chastyna: pidruchnyk (Textbook on General Part of Criminal Law of Ukraine). Kharkiv: Pravo 2015.

  • 6. Butler Richard. “Reform of the United Nations Security Council.” Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs Vol. 1 No 1 (2012): 23–39.

  • 7. Dawisha Karen. “Putin’s Press Propagandists.” The Wall Street Journal (July 5 2016) //

  • 8. Dickinson Peter. “How the International Media Enables Russian Aggression in Ukraine.” Atlantic Council (August 3 2016) //

  • 9. Druzin Bryan and Li Jessica. “The Criminalization of Lying: Under What Circumstances If Any Should Lies Be Made Criminal?” Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology Vol. 101 No. 2 (2011): 529–573.

  • 10. Dudorov Oleksandr and Yevhen Pysmenskyy. “Pro mistse amnistii v suchasnykh umovakh derzhavotvorennia” (On the Place of Amnesty Under Modern Conditions of State Building): 56–59. In: Zabezpechennia yednosti sudovoi praktyky u kryminalnykh spravakh v konteksti podii 2013 – 2014 rokiv v Ukraini: materialy Mizhnarodnoho sympoziumu 24 – 25 zhovtnia 2014 roku. Kyiv: BAITE 2014.

  • 11. Dudorov Oleksandr and Khavroniuk Mykola. Kryminalne pravo: navchalnyi posibnyk (Textbook on Criminal Law). Kyiv: BAITE 2014.

  • 12. “During the Course of Special Pretrial Investigation the Prosecutor's Office of Lugansk Region Sent Indictments Against Two Ministers of So-Called ‘Council of Ministers’ of the Terrorist Organization ‘LPR’ to Court.” The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (August 2016) //

  • 13. Dzhansarayeva R. E. L. Bissengali A. A. Bazilova M. E. Akbolatova and M. K. Bissenova. “Problems of Formation of the Concept of Criminal Policy of State in the Theory of Criminal Law.” Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research Vol. 14 No 4 (2013): 508–515 // DOI: 10.5829/idosi.mejsr.2013.14.4.2120.

  • 14. Fris Pavlo. “Kryminalizatsiia i dekryminalizatsiia u kryminalno-pravovii politytsi” (Criminalization and Decriminalization in the Criminal Policy). Visnyk Asotsiatsii kryminalnoho prava Ukrainy 1 (2014): 19–28.

  • 15. “General Assembly Adopts Resolution Calling upon States Not to Recognize Changes in Status of Crimea Region.” 68th Session of the UN General Assembly (March 2014): //

  • 16. Horbulin Volodymyr. “‘Hibrydna viina’ yak kliuchovyi instrument rosiiskoi heostratehii revanshu” (‘Hybrid War’ As the Key Instrument of Russian Revenge Geostrategy). Stratehichni priorytety 4 (2014): 5–12.

  • 17. “Jacqueline Lechtholtz-Zey The Laws Banning Holocaust Denial – revised from GPN Issue 3.” (2012) //

  • 18. Jones Sam. “Russia’s Cyberwarriors Use Twitter to Hide Intrusion.” Financial Times (July 29 2015) //

  • 19. Karlova Valentyna. “Osoblyvosti vidnovlennia istorychnoi pam’iati ukrainskoho narodu v konteksti analizu dosvidu postsotsialistychnykh krain” (Peculiarities of Historical Memory Renewal of Ukrainian People in the Context of Experience Analysis in Post-Soviet Countries). Efektyvnist derzhavnoho upravlinnia 14/15 (2008): 203–214.

  • 20. Kofman Michael and Rojansky Matthew. “A closer look at Russia’s ‘hybrid war’.” Kennan Cable 7 (April 2015) //

  • 21. Mahda Yevhen. “Vyklyky hibrydnoi viiny: informatsiinyi vymir” (The Challenges of Hybrid Warfare: Information Aspect). Naukovi zapysky Instytutu zakonodavstva Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy 5 (2014): 138–142.

  • 22. “OSCE resolution equating Stalinism with Nazism.” (October 20 2009) //

  • 23. Pylypenko Yevhen. “Shchodo obgruntovanosti kryminalizatsii pereshkodzhannia zakonnii diialnosti Zbroinykh Syl Ukrainy ta inshykh viiskovykh formuvan” (On the Relevance of Criminalization of Obstructing the Legal Activity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Other Military Formations). Naukovyi visnyk Lvivskoho derzhavnoho universytetu vnutrishnikh sprav 1 (2016): 267–277.

  • 24. Pysmenskyy Yevhen. “Zlochyny u sferi profesiinoi diialnosti zhurnalistiv u konteksti zabezpechennia potreb ukrainskoho suspilstva na suchasnomu etapi yoho rozvytku” (Crimes in the Area of Professional Journalistic Activities in the Context of Guaranteeing the Needs of Ukrainian Society at the Present Stage of its Development). Visnyk Kryminolohichnoi asotsiatsii Ukrainy 1 (2016): 90–103.

  • 25. Renz Bettina and Smith Hanna. “Russia and Hybrid Warfare – Going Beyond the Label.” Aleksanteri papers 1 (2016); //

  • 26. Schmitt Michael N. ed. Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. New York United States of America: Cambridge University Press 2013.

  • 27. Skoblykov Petr. “Do y posle amnystyy (Before and After Amnesty).” Yuryst speshyt na pomoshch 3 (2014): 7.

  • 28. Snegovaya Maria. “Putin’s information warfare in Ukraine. Soviet origins of Russia’s hybrid warfare Russia Report 1.” Institute for the Study of War Washington DC (2015) //'s%20Information%20Warfare%20in%20Ukraine-%20Soviet%20Origins%20of%20Russias%20Hybrid%20Warfare.pdf.

  • 29. Spain Ann. “The U.N. Security Council's Duty to Decide.” Harvard National Security Journal Vol. 4 (2013): 320–384.

  • 30. “The Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Launched Criminal Proceedings Based on the Fact of Treason Committed by a Former Member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine.” The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (October 2015) //

  • 31. “The Veto. Research Report.” (October 2015) //

  • 32. Trebin Mykhailo. “‘Hibrydna’ viina yak nova ukrainska realnist” (‘Hybrid’ War as New Ukrainian Reality). Ukrainskyi sotsium 3 (2014): 113–127.

  • 33. “Two of the So Called ‘People Deputies’ of the Terrorist Organization ‘DPR’ Will Be Distantly Prosecuted in Donetsk Region.” The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (August 2016) //

  • 34. Usenko Ihor and Rominskyi Yevhen. “Vysnovok shchodo Zakonu Ukrainy ‘Pro vnesennia zminy do Kryminalnoho kodeksu Ukrainy shchodo vidpovidalnosti za zaperechennia chy vypravdannia zlochyniv fashyzmu’ vid 16 sichnia 2014 roku № 729-VII” (Opinion on the Law of Ukraine ‘On Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine Regarding Liability for Denial or Justification of Fascism Crimes’ from January 16 2014 № 729-VII). (January 27 2014) //

  • 35. “US government officially blames Russia for hacking political campaigns to interfere with elections.” (October 2016) //

  • 36. Veebel Viljar and Markus Raul. “Lessons From The EU-Russia Sanctions 2014-2015.” Baltic Journal of Law & Politics 8:1 (2015): 165–194 // DOI: 10.1515/bjlp-2015-0015.

  • 37. “Verfassungsgesetz vom 8. Mai 1945 über das Verbot der NSDAP (Verbotsgesetz 1947) in der Fassung der Verbotsgesetznovelle 1992.” (1992) //

  • 1. Act on the Appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations European Parliament Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe NATO Parliamentary Assembly OSCE Parliamentary Assembly GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and national parliaments of the countries of the world on the recognition of the Russian Federation as an aggressor state. Parliament of Ukraine (January 2015) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 2. Case № 419/1215/16-к. Novoaidarskyi district court of Luhansk region (April 8 2016) The Unified State Register of Court Decisions //

  • 3. Case № 425/2713/14-к. Rubizhne city court of Luhansk region (June 25 2015) The Unified State Register of Court Decisions //

  • 4. Draft Law on Securing the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine. Parliament of Ukraine (April 2014) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 5. Law of Ukraine on Making Amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes of Ukraine About the Inevitability of Punishment for Certain Crimes Against National Security Public Safety and Corruption Offenses. Parliament of Ukraine (October 2014) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 6. Law of Ukraine on Making Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine about Increasing Liability for Some Military Crimes. Parliament of Ukraine (February 2015) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 7. Law of Ukraine on Making Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Application of Amnesty in Ukraine” about Total Rehabilitation of Political Prisoners. Parliament of Ukraine (February 2014) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 8. Law of Ukraine on Making Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Parliament of Ukraine (April 2014) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 9. Law of Ukraine on Securing the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Regime on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine. Parliament of Ukraine (April 2014) // [in Ukrainian].

  • 10. Lietuvos Respublikos baudžiamasis kodeksas (The Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania). Patvirtintas 2000 m. rugsėjo 26 d. įstatymu Nr. VIII-1968 // [in Lithuanian].

  • 11. Resolution 2132 (2016) on Political consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (October 12 2016).

  • 12. Resolution 2133 (2016) on Legal remedies for human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (October 12 2016).

  • 13. Resolution 3314 (XXIX) on ‘Definition of Aggression’. United Nations General Assembly (December 14 1974) //

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.42

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.138
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.281

Target audience: researchers and scholars in the fields of law and politics, with an acute interest in the cross-pollinations of disciplines, comparative approaches to regional issues, and active dialogue on pressing contemporary issues of theoretical and practical import.
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 315 163 2
PDF Downloads 189 129 4