In the latest in Tactics Institute's exclusive video series, Tactics' Commissioning Editor Elini Panayioton interviews Shota Gvineria, Lecturer at Estonia's Defence College.
“We are living in a time where everyone’s crystal ball is broken. On average, in European countries, we will have 10-15 % of economic recession by the end of the year […] defence and security budgets are experiencing a lot of pressure…” states Ambassador Shota Gvineria in a discussion with Tactics editor Eleni Panayiotou.
Ambassador Shota Gvineria, Lecturer at the Baltic Defence College in Defence and Cyber Studies spoke to Tactics about how authoritarian regimes are using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to tighten their grip on society: “…authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China were already using this threshold below the conflict to pursue their political objectives and their geopolitical goals using all elements of their national power, not only the kinetic, and actually increasingly relying on non-kinetic tools of influence” states Gvineria.
Covid-19 he explains “has been used for disinformation, for putting political agendas forward for a number of countries, and to inflict more uncertainty to confuse people and governments even more”. Gvineria highlights how Russia has been exploiting the situation, with experts talking about “cyber gulags” in reference to the facial recognition systems that are monitoring all corners of Moscow “in the name of controlling the waves of the population and how people comply with the requirements of the health care authorities”.
Finally, concerning the deployment of the British Armed Forces Shota Gvineria discusses the importance of their role, particularly in dealing with crises situations, something which civilian institutions are using to their advantage “The Armed Forces are using their experience and advantages to support and help civilian authorities” he states.
Watch the full interview below.
Shota Gvineria is a lecturer at the Estonian Defense College. Mr Gvineria served as ambassador to NATO of the Republic of Georgia and a Deputy Secretary of Georgia's National Security Council.
Elini Panayiotou is a Media Professional with over 15 years experience specialising in online and radio journalism. She has worked in defence journalism for online media and was Project Co-ordinator for DefenceMatters.org.