October 20th-21st, 2023


Transatlantic Cooperation and New Security Architecture - Security Challenges in Existing and Emerging Conflicts

Organized by Hybrid Warfare Research Institute & St. George Association


Day 0: Thursday, October 19th, 2023

 20:00  Dinner for Speakers, Panel Chairs, and Guests of Honor  (Invitation only)

Day 1: Friday, October 20th, 2023

08:30 – 09:30   Arrival and Registration

09:30 - 09:40  Opening Ceremony

Assist.Prof. Gordan Akrap, Hybrid Warfare Research Institute, Zagreb

Prof.Dr. Shlomo Shpiro, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan

09:40- 10.40  Keynote Speakers

Transatlantic Cooperation and new Security Architecture

10:40-11:10  Coffee Break


11:15-13:00  Panel I

Threats to NATO – from Cold war to Russian aggression in 2022 – Lessons Identified – Lessons Learned - joint Lithuanian-Ukrainian panel

Chair: Prof.Dr.Shlomo Shpiro, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Colonel Viacheslav Semenenko, PhD, the Deputy Head of the Center for Military Strategic Studies, National Defence University of Ukraine: Developing Ukrainian resiliency against Russian aggression as a Comprehensive mode of actions

Assoc. Prof. dr. Gintaras Labutis, Military academy of Lithuania: European Green Deal for security and defence in the light of present war in Ukraina?

Dr. Arturas Jasinkas, Military academy of Lithuania: The role of Strategic Communication and Crisis Management in countering Hybrid Threats through the study and analysis of practical case studies of Lithuania

NN, National Defence University of Ukraine: Analysis of hybrid Russian aggressions against Ukraine since the fall of Soviet Union

Marzena Żakowska, PhD, War Studies University in Warsaw, and Witold Ostant, PhD, War Studies University in Warsaw: War in Ukraine - is Peace Possible? 

13:10-14:10  Lunch (one non-alcoholic beverage included)


14:10-16:00  Panel II

Hybrid Threats and Resiliency of Society

Chair: Prof.Dr. Iztok Podbregar, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Dr. Vira Ratsiborynska, Adjunct professor on NATO and transatlantic approaches to security, Free University of Brussels (VUB): Strategic security environment and NATO’s perspectives in developing effective Strategic Communications from 2014 till now (2014-2022) 

Dr. Anders Strindberg, Swedish Defence Research Agency-FOI, Sweden: “Democratic Security”: values and principles as critical assets 

Prof.Dr. Gilliam de Valk, University of Leiden: Four types of warning in CIP

Dr. Eleni Kapsokoli, University of Piraeus, Greece: Securing the digital electoral processes in the EU, Digital Jihad model: the case of ISIS 

Dr. Andrew Liaropoulos, University of Piraeus, Greece: Emerging Disruptive Technologies and EU Cybersecurity 

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break


16:30-18:10  Panel III

Foreign Fighters as a Russian Tool of Influence

Chair: Prof.Dr. John M. Nomikos, RIEAS, Greece 

Prof. Dr. Shlomo Shpiro, Bar Ilan University, Israel: Iran and Russia against Ukraine

Prof.Dr. Darko Trifunović, University of Belgrade, Serbia: Chechens and Night Wolves in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – vectors of Russian influence

Dr. Barak Bouks, Bar Ilan University, Israel: Foreign fighters from middle east countries in support of Russain agression

Ljubomir Filipović, PhD candidate: Russian vectors of influence against Montenegro – activities and consequences – Lessons Identified – Lessons Learned

Assoc. Prof. Dražen Barbarić, University Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Russian influence operations and Bosnia and Herzegovina

20:15 - Networking dinner for all Forum participants, (two non-alcoholic beverages included)


Day 2: Saturday, October 21st, 2023

Introduction to second day of 8th Zagreb Security Forum


Mr. Holger Haibach, Head of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Office in Zagreb and Ljubljana

10.10-11.50 Panel IV

Russian intelligence – important vector of Russian hybrid attacks – Lessons Identified and Lessons Learned

Chair: Assist. Prof. Gordan Akrap, University North, Croatia

Przemyslaw Gasztold, IPN and War Studies University, Warsaw, Poland: „Modus operandi of Russian intelligence services: from the Cold War to War in Ukraine”

Dr. Yaacov Falkov, University of Tel Aviv, Israel: Russian (counter)intelligence activities in Middle East

Ante Letica, HWRI, Zagreb, Croatia: Russian (counter)intelligence activities in South East Europe

Thomas Wegener Friis, University Southern Denmark: Europe and Russian Foreign Intelligence in times of War

Wladyslaw Bulhak, IPN, Poland: „An illegal method in Soviet-type intelligence work. The case of the intelligence of communist Poland”

11:50-12:15  Coffee Break


12.15-14.00 Panel V

Young Researchers Forum and Hybrid Threats Resiliency

Chair: Yvan de Mesmaeker, ECSA, Belgium 

Ivar Ekman, PhD candidate and Prof.Dr. Per-Erik Nilsson, FOI, Sweden: Kerch Bridge on Fire - St. Javelin, NATO, and the privatization of Ukrainian info warfare

Denise Wornig, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences: Strategic Foresight Training: A step by step process to use strategic foresight and learn how to think about the future through a structured approach

Celien De Stercke, PhD candidate and Prof.Dr. Jelle Janssens, University of Gent, Belgium: The weaponization of organized crime in the context of hybrid warfare: challenges for the Belgian security architecture

Margareta Gregić, PhD candidate, Jelena Božić, PhD candidate, Marija Jakovljević, PhD candiate, University North, Croatia: Crisis management through verbal and non-verbal communication – case of Croatia

Tomislav Vazdar, PhD candidate, University of Zagreb: Uncovering the Strategic Culture of Hybrid Threats: How to adapt and Defend in Modern Age?


12.15-14.00 Forum Conclusions

Future Challenges, Joint Responses

Co-chairs: Assist.Prof. Gordan Akrap, Prof. Dr. Shlomo Shpiro

The aim of this session is to integrate the lessons learned from the individual presentations of the previous two days, both in terms of threat analysis and of networked responses. Furthermore, this session will facilitate a wider discussion on the needs for joint capacity building, intensive inter-operability, and mutual multi-level crisis assistance.


14:15-15:45  Lunch (one non-alcoholic beverage included)

Important information:


  • Forum is organised according to pandemic situation in a hybrid way – “in situ” and online
  • Every activity (conference halls, restaurants, coffee breaks, rooms) are going to be organised in a Hotel due to the disease prevention.
  • Forum organisers are reserving the right to change the Program according to the necessities.