Gerasimov
© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev
Valery Gerasimov speaking at the MCIS.
The Russian general who was widely blamed by Western media for inventing a new type of 'hybrid warfare,' says it is exactly what Western intelligence services have been waging against Russia for a long time.

Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov dismissed the concept of the so-called "Gerasimov doctrine" in a speech at a security conference in Moscow. "The methods of hybrid warfare were not invented by us. Western nations use them all the time, first and foremost against Russia," he told an international audience of officials and security experts.

He added that by accusing Russia of inventing such methods Western powers try to distract public attention from the actions that they take against adversaries. "However, fewer and fewer people are prepared to believe these lies," he said.

The term "Gerasimov doctrine" was coined by journalist Mark Galeotti in 2013 and overhyped by Western mainstream media as a uniquely Russian approach of comprehensive war by non-military and military methods that somehow puts Western governments at a significant disadvantage. "Hybrid warfare" is another buzzword for the same idea. Galeotti, to his credit, later discredited his term, saying the "Gerasimov doctrine" does not exist.

Gerasimov highlighted the West's long record of indirectly weakening governments they don't like before launching an operation to violently topple them - which perfectly fits the "hybrid warfare" description. "Often under the guise of promoting democracy a so-called humanitarian intervention is launched to foment national instability," he said.

The remark appears to be a reference to the ongoing US operation to topple the government in Venezuela through a combination of sanctions and support for opposition forces led by Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed Venezuelan 'interim president.' Washington's effort included a very public attempt to force the delivery of 'humanitarian aid' across the border for Guaido's people to distribute.

The general said the US and its allies were conducting an aggressive policy against Russia. The increasing deployment of troops and military hardware in Eastern Europe under the guise of 'deterring Russian aggression' is one example of this hostility, he said. Moscow's response will be a military build-up of its own, which will ensure its national security, he added.

"Our actions are merely a response to the increased military activities of the US and NATO," Gerasimov stressed.