Seminar - 05032019

Speaker photoEnergy as a Weapon in a New Generation of Warfare and Its Influence on National Defense Capability: Overview of the Ukrainian Case

May 3, 2019
DRMI Auditorium

Dr. Oleksandr Sukhodolia

Head of Energy Security and Technogenic Safety Department at the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Ukraine



Uninterrupted functioning of energy infrastructure, providing of energy supply to consumers is required for a stable development of any country. The government, which cannot secure stability of energy supply, could be taken to responsibility by their nation. Under some conditions, it could seriously undermine country’s capability to resist pressure of adversary. Could the “energy” be used as a weapon to subdue the country?

Through its independent history, Ukraine faced variety of attempts of Russia to utilize energy as a tool to return Ukraine under control. Several times, Russia has even halted the normal functioning of gas, oil and power networks in Ukraine in order to achieve its objectives in its relations with Ukraine as well as with the European Union.

Although some energy policy experts repeatedly stressed this aspect, a large part of the Western political elite and of the industry experts had preferred to interpret the facts exclusively in economic terms without taking into consideration the political reasons of such behavior. However, the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014 has had a huge impact on the understanding the nature of new generation warfare and the role of “energy dimension” in it.

Incorporation of the “energy dimension” into its hybrid warfare concept gave Russia additional tools to influence Ukraine. Political and economic pressure as actively used by Russia up to 2014 was enhanced by targeted physical actions against energy infrastructure as well as by informational campaign against Ukrainian government focusing public attention on the problems in energy industry and energy supply disruptions.

Destruction, seizing and looting of energy infrastructure, cyber-attacks as well as political, economic and psychological pressure have become the main set of tools of the Russian’s strategy against its Ukraine, demonstrating that energy and critical energy infrastructure damaging is an effective non-military tool of warfare.

The learned lessons of Ukraine prove that protection of critical energy infrastructure should be included into the national defense policy. At the same time, it stresses that the establishment of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and civil-military cooperation are essential for ensuring continuity of government and energy supplies.


Abridged Biography

Oleksandr Sukhodolia graduated the Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Automatics of the National Technical University of Ukraine in 1994. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1999 from the National Technical University of Ukraine. A degree of Doctor of Public Administration he received in 2007 from the National Academy of Public Administration of Ukraine.

He has extensive experience in energy security and public service. Between 1998 and 2003, he served as Head of Department and Deputy Head of State Committee of Ukraine on Energy Conservation. Between 2007 and 2011, he served as Deputy Head of Energy Security Department at the Secretariat of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. 

Oleksandr Sukhodolia became a finalist of the USA Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program in 2011-2012. He worked on energy security issues at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the George Washington University.

In 2001 – 2011 he teaches Energy Efficiency and Energy Policy at the Energy Saving and Energy Management Institute, the National Technical University of Ukraine. In 2013-2016 he is professor of Energy Security Policy at the National Academy of Public Administration.

Since 2012, he joined the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Ukraine. Oleksandr Sukhodolia is a Head of Energy Security and Technogenic Safety Department. His research interests focus on national and energy security, energy policy, energy markets, and critical energy infrastructure protection.




Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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