The Russia-Ukraine conflict officially broke out in February 2022. Although it is called the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it is not only Ukraine that is confronting Russia, but the entire U.S. and Western bloc, including the United States and European countries. It is the full eruption of a crisis in relations between Russia and the West, geopolitical contradictions, and conflicts of interest.1 Looking at the overall trend of the development of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia launched a fierce offensive in the early stage of the conflict, but as the conflict continued to develop, the United States and the West gradually imposed effective restrictions on Russia in terms of the battlefield situation, and the two sides entered a stage of strategic stalemate. The situation has reversed itself to the extent that, in September, Ukraine tried to launch a large-scale counterattack against Russia in Kharkiv and Kherson, forcing Russia to issue a partial mobilization order and calling up 300,000 reservists to participate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
2022 年 2 月 ，俄乌冲突正式爆发 ，虽名为俄乌冲突 ，但与俄罗斯对垒的绝非仅为乌克兰一国 ，而是包括美欧国家在内的整个美西方阵营 ，是俄罗斯与西方关系危机及地缘政治矛盾和利益冲突的总爆发 。 从俄乌冲突发展的整体趋势来看 ，俄罗斯在冲突前期攻势猛烈 ，但随着冲突的持续发展 ，美西方在战场局势上逐步对俄罗斯构成有效限制 ，双方进入战略僵持阶段 ，甚至从 9 月开始乌克兰方面已在哈尔科夫、赫尔松等方面试图对俄开展大规模反攻 ，迫使俄罗斯宣布局部动员令 ，并征召 30 万预备役人员投入俄乌冲突之中。
The reversal of the battlefield situation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is directly related to the level of battlefield intelligence assurance of the opposing sides. The latest military intelligence report released by the U.S. Congress in mid-September pointed out that, although the Russian military took the strategic initiative at the outset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it has massive problems as regards information support issues such as communication efficiency. 2 The U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released a report that also argued that factors such as the lack of secure communication methods in the Russia-Ukraine conflict had confronted Russia with massive shortcomings in intelligence assurance. 3 In contrast, the United States and the West possess absolute advantages in terms of their original battlefield intelligence assurance system and force construction. In addition, during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States and the West have also profoundly grasped the trend of digitalization in the current security intelligence assurance sector and comprehensively employed a variety of cutting-edge technologies and their S&T derivatives to effectively enhance their own intelligence assurance capabilities. This has provided an important support that allowed them to gradually seize the battlefield initiative in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. At present, we are in the midst of major changes unseen in a century and the international situation is very fluid. The strategic stability between China and the United States is also facing a series of challenges. In this context, it is of great theoretical and practical significance to deeply analyze and evaluate the digital transformation of U.S. and Western intelligence assurance in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, analyze its application cases in actual combat, and clarify the lessons this holds for China’s security and intelligence work.
俄乌冲突战场局势的逆转 ，与对垒双方的战场情报保障水平直接相关 ，美国国会在 9 月中旬发布的军事情报最新报告就指出 ，俄乌冲突发生后俄军虽占据战略主动性 ，但其在通信效率等情报保障问题上存在巨大问题 。 而美国战略与国际问题研究中心 (CSIS) 发布报告也认为俄乌冲突中缺乏安全通信方式等因素使俄方在情报保障上面临极大短板。 与之相对 ，美西方不仅在原有战场情报保障体制、力量建设等方面有绝对优势 ，俄乌冲突中 ，美西方也深度把握了当前安全情报保障中的数字化转向趋势 ，综合运用多种尖端技术及其科技衍生品 ，有效提升了自身情报保障能力 ，为其逐步掌握俄乌冲突战场主动权提供了重要的依托。 当前正值百年未有之大变局 ，国际局势风云变幻 ，中美战略稳定也面临一系列挑战 ，在此背景下 ，深刻研判美西方在此次俄乌冲突中情报保障的数字化转向 ，分析其在实战中的应用案例 ，并梳理其对我国安全情报工作的启示 ，具有着重要的理论与实践意义。
1 Emerging trends in U.S. and Western intelligence assurance in the Russia-Ukraine conflict
After the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, both Russia and the United States and Western countries recognized that the Russia-Ukraine conflict was an unprecedented hybrid war and each side accused the other of being the initiator of this hybrid war4–5. However, judging from overall strategic advantages and disadvantages, the United States and Western countries were undoubtedly the proactive side that was more “swift and severe”6. In the all-encompassing hybrid war that the United States and Western countries waged against Russia, their intelligence assurance work has achieved tremendous practical results. The United States and other Western countries have provided Ukraine with intelligence and information network support, and even directly helped the Ukrainian military analyze intelligence and direct its intelligence system. 7 This played an important role in the U.S.–Western bloc gaining the upper hand throughout the entire progress of the conflict. In particular, in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, U.S. and Western intelligence assurance work is deeply aligned with the overall trend of intelligence assurance work in the digital . This work has resulted in relatively successful practices in the application of digital technology, open-source intelligence acquisition, non-professional participation, and the use of dual-use technology. The specific experience gained is discussed in the following sections:
俄乌冲突发生后 ，无论是俄罗斯方面还是美西方国家方面均认识到俄乌冲突是一场前所未有的混合战争 ，并指摘对方是这一混合战争的发起者。 但从整体的战略优劣态势来看 ，无疑在这场混合战争中美西方国家是更为“ 迅速而严厉冶的主动一方。 而在美西方国家对俄罗斯进行的全方位混合战争中 ，其情报保障工作发挥了巨大的实战成效 ，美国等西方国家对乌克兰提供了情报信息网络支持 ，甚至直接帮助乌克兰军方分析情报并指挥其情报系统 ，这对美西方阵营在整个冲突进程中优势地位的获得发挥了重要作用。特别是 ，俄乌冲突中美西方情报保障工作深度契合数字时代情报保障工作转向的整体趋势 ，在数字技术运用、开源情报获取、非专业人员参与以及军民两用技术使用等方面有着较为成功的实践 ，其具体经验体现为:
1.1 Digital S&T has become a strategic weapon for the United States and the West to carry out offensive and defensive intelligence operations
S&T innovation is a basic support for the development of intelligence work, and it plays a huge role in promoting military intelligence work. 8 In today’s era, digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and metaverse continue to develop, becoming important S&T-sourced driving forces that affect the development progress of human society. The rapid development of digital technology has brought about tremendous changes in modern intelligence assurance work. Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States and the West have employed artificial intelligence (AI), big data, recommendation algorithms, and other digital S&T on a large scale to provide intelligence assurance for the military operations of their own bloc, fully reflecting the overall contours of intelligence assurance work in the digital age and effectively enhancing the strategic initiative of their side. This has produced a series of case studies from actual combat operations.
科技创新是情报工作发展的基本支撑 ，对军事情报工作有巨大的推动作用 。 当今时代 ，人工智能、大数据、区块链、元宇宙等数字技术不断发展 ，成为影响人类社会发展进程的重要科技源动力。数字技术的迅猛发展带来了现代情报保障工作的巨变。 俄乌冲突发生至今 ，美西方大规模运用人工智能、大数据、推荐算法等数字科技为本阵营的军事行动提供情报保障 ，充分体现数字时代情报保障工作的整体轮廓 ，有效提升了本方的战略主动性 ，产生了一系列实战案例。
First, in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States and the West have employed facial recognition technology on a large scale to achieve individualized collection of intelligence. For example, facial recognition technology based on AI analysis is used by the U.S. and Western bloc to confirm the identity information of Russian soldiers who died in battle and send relevant information to the families of fallen Russian soldiers through communication media with the intention of striking at Russian morale. 9 The Clearview AI system used by the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has powerful computing and intelligence processing capabilities, allowing more than 300 Ukrainian intelligence officials to conduct facial recognition searches at any time. The scope of intelligence collection includes family photos, social media content, and relationship details of targets. 10 At the current stage, although the moral debate on the use of facial recognition technology to identify personal information of hostile soldiers still exists, this technology has obviously improved the intelligence collection capabilities of the U.S. and Western bloc and possesses strong practical effectiveness.
首先 ，在俄乌冲突中 ，美西方大规模运用面部识别技术 ，实现情报的个性化收集。 例如 ，基于人工智能分析的面部识别技术被美西方阵营用来确认阵亡俄罗斯军人的身份信息 ，并通过通讯媒介方式对阵亡俄军士兵的家人推送相关信息 ， 意图打击俄罗斯方面的士气。美西方在俄乌冲突实战中所使用的 Clearview AI 系统运算和情报处理能力强大 ，可使乌克兰方面 300 多位情报官员随时进行面部识别搜索 ，其情报搜集范围包括对象家庭照片、社交媒体内容和关系细节等。现阶段虽然关于运用面部识别技术来进行敌对方军人身份信息识别的道德争论依然存在 ，但其对于美西方阵营情报收集能力的提升已显而易见 ，具有极强的实战效能。
At the same time, recommendation algorithms have also become an important technical means for the United States and the West to carry out intelligence offense and defense in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Recommendation algorithms first appeared in 1992. In recent years, they have been further developed during the upsurge of large-scale development of social media throughout the world, becoming one of the most technologically sophisticated and hotly discussed digital technologies. In this Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States and the West wantonly used their dominant position in the recommendation algorithm platforms to seize intelligence information on Russia, posing a serious challenge to Russia’s intelligence security. At the same time, politicians in the United States and the West also vigorously encouraged creators and S&T companies to conduct intelligence attacks on Russia 11–12. Therefore, in March 2022, the Russian government cited relevant laws and banned Western social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram, labeling their parent company Meta as “extremist.” 13 In addition, as the core technology of new media platforms, algorithms are not simply “led by the nose” by the personal preferences and tendencies of the platform users, but “the tail wagging the dog” will be seen in many scenarios. The platforms will convey their own values and intentions to users in a way that conforms to users’ psychology through technical operations such as big data algorithms. Because this approach is more in line with user preferences and tendencies, it is more likely to subtly win over users. This feature leads to algorithms with very strong intelligence attack and defense characteristics. In this Russia-Ukraine conflict, international recommendation algorithm platforms under the control of the West have taken an unequal approach in screening and pushing information that is beneficial to Russia or beneficial to the United States and the West 14–15. Furthermore, the United States and the West also used their superiority in algorithms to spread false information about Russia and conduct algorithmic intelligence detection of Russian sources of information and then block the channels. This blockade began on the eve of the Russia-Ukraine conflict16 and has continued throughout the course of the conflict, becoming more open and expanding. 17
同时 ，推荐算法也成为美西方在此次俄乌冲突中进行情报攻防的重要技术手段。推荐算法最早出现于 1992 年 ，近年来在全球社交媒体大规模发展的热潮中获得进一步发展 ，成为当前最具技术含量和话题热度的数字技术之一。 此次俄乌冲突中 ，美西方大肆运用自身在推荐算法平台的优势地位 ，攫取俄罗斯方面的情报信息 ，对俄罗斯的情报安全构成严重挑战 ，同时 ，美西方国家政客也大肆鼓动推荐算法平台上的创作者和科技公司对俄进行情报攻击 。因此 2022 年 3月俄罗斯政府援引相关法令封禁了 Facebook、Instagram 等西方社交媒体巨头 ，并将其母公司 Meta 标记为“ 极端分子冶。 另外 ，算法作为新媒体平台的核心技术 ，其并非单纯地被平台用户的个人偏好和倾向 “ 牵着鼻子走冶 ，而是在很多场景下会出现“ 尾巴摇狗冶的情况 ，平台会通过大数据算法等技术操作将自身的价值观和意愿以契合用户心理的方式传达给用户 ，并因其更加符合用户的偏好和倾向而更容易在潜移默化中被用户所接受 ，这一特性使得算法具有极强的情报攻防特性 ，此次俄乌冲突中 ，西方操控下的国际性推荐算法平台就对有利于俄罗斯和美西方的信息进行了不平等的筛选和推送。 另一方面 ，美西方还运用自身在算法上的优势地位传播涉及俄罗斯的虚假信息 ，并对俄罗斯的信息发送源进行算法智能检测并进行渠道封锁 ，这一封锁从俄乌冲突发生前夕就已开始 ，俄乌冲突发生进程中也一直持续存在 ，并不断公开化、扩大化 。
1.2 Dual-use technology plays an important role in U.S. and Western intelligence gathering
In recent years, with digital technology playing an increasingly prominent role in the process of intelligence collection, analysis, and transmission, the importance of critical information infrastructure has also been highlighted. 18 Compared with typical military infrastructure, military-civil dual-use infrastructure has become an important supplement for improving the intelligence assurance level of sovereign states. In this Russia-Ukraine conflict, UAVs, Starlink satellites, and other highly dual-use S&T products have been used in-depth by the United States and the West, greatly improving their intelligence assurance capabilities.
近年来 ，伴随数字技术在情报收集、分析以及传递进程中发挥越来越大的作用 ，关键信息基础设施的重要性也不断凸显。 相较于典型军用基础设施而言 ，军民两用基础设施已成当前提升主权国家情报保障水平的重要补充。 此次俄乌冲突中 ，无人机以及星链卫星等高度军民两用属性的科技产品被美西方深度使用 ，极大提升了美西方的情报保障能力。
First, civilian UAVs have fully filled their intelligence assurance role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The intrinsic characteristics of UAVs, such as small size, fast movement, and strong concealment, make them ideal equipment for military reconnaissance and intelligence collection. Before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Ukraine was constantly developing UAVs specifically for intelligence reconnaissance. These UAVs evolved from the PD-2 UAV, are equipped with Gekata intelligence and reconnaissance components independently developed by Ukraine, and have long-range all-weather monitoring capabilities. 19 After the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a video of the Ukrainian army using UAVs to search for Russian ground troops near Kyiv appeared on social media. 20 On the stage provided by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, not only have various types of military UAVs played an important role, but a large number of civilian UAVs have been converted to military use. After the conflict broke out, Ukrainian military equipment suffered heavy attacks. Confronting Russia’s siege of Kyiv, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense directly called on the citizens of Kyiv to donate their UAVs to defend against the Russian attack. According to Western media reports, prompted by the appeal of the Ukrainian government, not only the Ukrainian people, but also people from other Western countries donated civilian UAVs including the DJI-brand UAVs to Ukraine. 21 On the battlefield, civilian UAVs are not only used by Ukraine to discover Russian military deployments and to grasp Russian military dynamics in advance, but they can also become small bomb-loaded ground attack weapons after a partial modification. In addition, a large number of civilian UAVs are used to record scenes from the war, which are then widely disseminated through social media and also play a role in guiding public opinion. 22
首先 ，民用无人机在此次俄乌冲突中充分发挥了情报保障作用。 无人机具有体型小、移动快速、隐蔽性强等自身特点 ，这使其成为进行军事侦察与情报收集的理想设备 ，俄乌冲突前乌克兰方面就一直在研发专门用作情报侦察的无人机 ，其基于 PD-2 无人机演化而来 ，搭载乌克兰自主研发的 Gekata 情报侦察组件 ，具有远程全天候监测能力。俄乌冲突发生后 ，社交媒体上也出现了标示为乌克兰军队利用无人机在基辅附近搜索俄罗斯地面军队的视频。在俄乌冲突的舞台上 ，不仅各类型军用无人机发挥着重要作用 ，大量的民用无人机也被转用为军用用途。 俄乌冲突发生后 ，乌克兰军事装备遭受沉重打击 ，面对俄罗斯对基辅的围攻 ，乌克兰国防部直接号召基辅市民捐出自己的无人机用于抵御俄军的进攻。 根据西方媒体的报道 ，在乌克兰政府的呼吁之下 ，不仅乌克兰民众 ，也有其他西方国家民众向乌克兰捐赠了包括大疆品牌在内的民用无人机。 在俄乌战场上 ，民用无人机不仅被乌克兰用来发现俄罗斯的军事部署 ，提前掌握俄罗斯军事动态 ，也通过部分改装 ，变成小型的载弹对地攻击武器 ，另外 ，大量民用无人机拍摄的战争场面通过社交媒体广泛传播 ，也发挥引导舆论的作用。
At the same time, the Starlink satellite system developed by the U.S. company SpaceX has become an important technical support for the intelligence assurance of the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. After the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, announced that he would provide Ukraine with Starlink satellite services, which greatly improved the intelligence assurance capabilities of the Ukrainian military during the conflict. In particular, a large number of Ukrainian armed personnel responsible for intelligence and reconnaissance on the front line of the Russia-Ukraine battlefield used a large number of personal Starlink satellite terminals for battlefield intelligence sharing and information communication, 23 which effectively avoided the emergence of a predicament where Ukraine was cut off from communicating with the outside world by Russia. In addition, the Starlink satellite system has also enhanced Ukraine’s intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities vis-a-vis Russia. The Ukrainian air reconnaissance force not only used the Starlink system to find and destroy a large number of Russian tanks, mobile command centers, and other military vehicles, but there is information showing that the Starlink satellite system played an important intelligence reconnaissance and firepower guidance role in the process of Ukraine’s sinking of the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva. This also led to Russia issuing serious warnings concerning Starlink satellites. 24
同时 ，美国 Space X 公司研发的星链卫星系统在俄乌冲突中成为美西方情报保障的重要技术支撑。 俄乌冲突发生后 ， 美国 SpaceX 创始人埃隆· 马斯克 ( Elon Musk) 宣布将对乌克兰提供“ 星链冶卫星服务 ，极大提升了乌克兰军方在冲突期间的情报保障能力 ，特别是大量在俄乌战场一线负责情报侦察的乌克兰武装人员大量使用星链卫星个人终端来进行战场情报分享和信息沟通 ，这有效避免了乌克兰被俄罗斯切断对外通讯困境的出现。 另一方面 ，星链卫星系统也提升了乌克兰方面的对俄情报侦查能力。 乌克兰空中侦察部队不仅使用星链系统发现并击毁大量俄罗斯坦克、移动指挥中心和其他军用车辆 ，更有信息显示在乌克兰方面击沉俄罗斯黑海舰队旗舰莫斯科号的过程中 ，星链卫星系统发挥了情报侦察和火力引导作用 ，这也导致俄罗斯方面对星链卫星发出了严重警告。
1.3 Open-source networks have become an important source of security intelligence for the United States and the West
Currently, the Western world has gradually established absolute dominance in cyberspace by virtue of its own advantages in network technology and global institutions. In contrast, Russia has long occupied a subordinate position in cyberspace. As of 2021, the total number of Russian users of the four open-source network platforms dominated by the United States and the West, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, reached 217 million. 25 On the whole, before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the gap between the Western world and Russia in terms of open-source network platforms was extremely pronounced. Therefore, open-source networks became an important way for the United States and the West to capture Russian security intelligence during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which had a tremendous impact on the overall direction taken by the conflict situation.
当前 ，西方世界借助自身在网络技术和全球制度方面的优势逐步建立起了在网络空间的绝对主导地位 ，与之相对 ，俄罗斯在网络空间则长期处于从属地位。 截至 2021年俄罗斯国内 Instagram、 Facebook、 Twitter 以及 YouTube 等四家美西方主导的开源网络平台用户总量就达到 2. 17 亿 ，从整体来看 ，俄乌冲突前西方世界与俄罗斯在开源网络平台方面的差距异常明显 ，因而开源网络成为俄乌冲突中美西方攫取俄罗斯安全情报的重要方式 ，极大影响了冲突态势的整体走向。
On the one hand, the use of open-source networks by the United States and the West to capture Russian security intelligence actually began before the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. A large number of on-site photos and even videos showing Russia’s military deployments appeared on international social media, making Russia’s military operations “transparent”. The United States and the West use open-source networks to discover and report relevant Russian military deployments. Their main goal is to strengthen the international community’s awareness of the belief that “Russia is preparing to launch a military attack on Ukraine” and induce Russia to use force against Ukraine, giving the Western world the excuse it sought in order to impose sanctions on Russia. 26 A few hours before the Russia-Ukraine conflict officially broke out, based on an analysis of the “traffic jam” that appeared on the main road from Belgorod, Russia to Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on Google Maps, a U.S. open-source intelligence analysis team concluded that a Russian attack on Ukraine might be imminent. 27
一方面 ，美西方应用开源网络对俄罗斯安全情报的攫取实质上在俄乌冲突爆发前就已经开始 ，国际社交媒体上出现了大量体现俄罗斯军事部署的现场照片乃至于视频 ，使俄罗斯的军事行动“ 透明化冶。 美西方运用开源网络发现并推送俄罗斯相关军事部署 ，其主要目标就在于强化国际社会对“ 俄罗斯正在准备对乌克兰发动军事攻击冶这一信念的认知 ，并诱导俄罗斯对乌克兰使用武力 ，从而为西方世界对俄罗斯的制裁找寻借口。而在俄乌冲突正式爆发前几个小时 ，美国的开源情报分析小组就通过对谷歌地图上从俄罗斯别尔哥罗德到乌克兰第二大城市哈尔科夫的主要道路出现“ 交通堵塞冶分析出俄罗斯可能马上发起攻击。
On the other hand, in the course of the war following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, open-source networks have also become an important path by which the United States and the West capture Russian security intelligence. During the Russia-Ukraine conflict, various scenes of the war were disseminated in real time on international social media dominated by the United States and the West, attracting the attention of users all over the world, and relevant information related to Russia has become an essential way for the United States and the West to capture open-source intelligence. During the Russia-Ukraine conflict, open-source intelligence analysts in the United States and the West used open-source network information to track military infrastructure and assess incidents and casualties on the ground. For example, open-source intelligence was used by the United States and the West to detect whether Russia used cluster munitions in civilian areas. 28
另一方面 ，在俄乌冲突发生后的战争进程中 ，开源网络也成为了美西方攫取俄罗斯安全情报的重要路径。 俄乌冲突中 ，各种战争场景被实时传播到了美西方主导的国际社交媒体上 ，吸引着全球用户的眼光 ，而其中涉及俄罗斯的相关信息也成为了美西方攫取开源情报的重要方式。 在俄乌冲突进程中 ，美西方开源情报分析师利用开源网络信息来跟踪军事基础设施、评估实地事件和伤亡人数 ，例如开源情报被美西方用来侦查俄罗斯是否在民用地区使用集束弹药等。
1.4 Non-professionals have become important entities relied on by the U.S. and the West for intelligence assurance
The rapid development of open-source intelligence has enabled a large number of non-professionals to use their own technical capabilities and deeply participate in the security intelligence collection system. This is profoundly reflected in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. For example, after the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Justin Peden, a 20-year-old college student from Alabama in the United States quickly became a sensation because he used open-source networks to analyze and judge military information such as Russia’s military deployments and missile attack coordinates. He disclosed his analysis on social media under the account “The Intel Crab,” which attracted 270,000 followers. 29
开源情报的迅猛发展使得大量非专业人员利用自身的技术能力 ，也可深度参与到安全情报收集的体系中来 ，这一点在此次俄乌冲突中有着深刻的体现 ，例如俄乌冲突发生后 ，美国阿拉巴马州的 20 岁大学生贾斯汀·佩登(Justin Peden) 迅速走红 ，原因在于其运用开源网络对俄罗斯的军队部署、导弹攻击坐标等军事信息进行分析研判 ，并在社交媒体上以“ The Intel Crab冶的账号加以披露 ，已拥有 27 万账号粉丝。
Not only that, but the rapid development of UAV technology has also given non-professionals the opportunity to deeply intervene in the intelligence offense and defense in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out, a non-governmental organization called “Aerorozvidka” ( “aerial reconnaissance” in Ukrainian) organized a large number of amateur drone enthusiasts to conduct UAV reconnaissance along the Ukrainian border using self-made UAVs and motion-sensing cameras in order to monitor Russia’s military deployment. This greatly improved the U.S. and Western bloc’s dynamic monitoring level of Russia’s military deployments. 30 After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Aerorozvidka also claimed that it used UAVs equipped with thermal imaging cameras to discover a column of Russia’s mechanized ground troops stretching for 40 miles in Ivankiv to the northwest of Kyiv, and then carried out an effective attack. 31 In addition, according to a report by the Associated Press, some Ukrainian UAV enthusiasts who originally used amateur UAVs for wedding photography and farmland fertilization began to use drones to conduct dynamic surveillance on Russia’s military deployments and report them to the Ukrainian army after the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 32 There was even a 15-year-old Ukrainian boy named Andrii Pokrasa called the “Drone Boy.” He was a UAV enthusiast and, during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he used a civilian drone his father bought him in the summer of 2021 to accurately discover a column of Russian military vehicles on the outskirts of Berezhivka, 40 kilometers west of Kyiv, and reported it to the Ukrainian army. This helped Ukrainian artillery pinpoint and destroy the Russian military convoy. 33
不仅如此 ，迅猛发展的无人机技术 ，也使非专业人员有机会深度介入俄乌冲突的情报攻防之中。 俄乌冲突发生前 ，一个名为“ Aerorozvidka冶( 乌克兰语:意为空中侦察) 的非政府组织就组织了大批的业余无人机爱好者使用自制无人机和运动感应相机在乌克兰边境地带进行无人机侦查 ，监视俄罗斯的军事部署 ，极大提升了美西方阵营对俄罗斯军事部署的动态监测水平。 俄乌冲突发生后 ，“ Aerorozvidka冶组织也宣称在基辅西北部的伊万科夫运用配备热成像摄像机的无人机发现了俄罗斯连绵 40 英里的机械化地面部队 ，并进行了有效的攻击。 此外 ，在美联社的报道中 ，还有一些原本运用业余无人机从事婚礼拍摄、农田施肥等工作的乌克兰无人机爱好者 ，在俄乌冲突后也开始转而运用无人机对俄罗斯的军事部署进行动态监视并汇报给乌克兰军队 。甚至还出现了一名被称为“ 无人机男孩冶( Drone Boy) 的 15 岁乌克兰少年安德烈·波拉克萨(Andrii Pokrasa) ，其是一名无人机发烧友 ，俄乌冲突中利用 2021 年夏天其父亲给其购买的民用无人机准确发现了基辅以西 40 公里处别列日夫卡郊外的一列俄罗斯军车并报告给乌克兰军队 ，帮助乌克兰炮兵精准定位并击毁了该俄罗斯军方车队。
2 Lessons for China’s intelligence assurance work
The realization of high-efficiency intelligence assurance by the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a successful attempt to adapt intelligence work to the digital age. It has played an important role in promoting the improvement of the intelligence assurance capabilities of the United States and the West in actual combat, and it requires our attention and vigilance. In the context of the post-Russia-Ukraine conflict situation, the strategic competition between China and the United States and the West is still severe, and China is faced with provocation and coercion from the United States and the West in many fields. Therefore, it is of great strategic significance to properly plan to deal with the latest trends in U.S. and Western intelligence assurance work in the context of digitalization and to learn from U.S. and Western experience in intelligence assurance gained in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Specifically, this includes the following five areas:
美西方在俄乌冲突中高效情报保障的实现 ，是顺应数字时代情报工作的一次成功尝试 ，对美西方实战情报保障能力的提升产生了重要助推作用 ，需引起我们的重视和警醒。 后俄乌冲突背景下 ，中国与美西方的战略竞争态势依然严峻 ，面临来自美西方国家的多领域挑衅与胁迫 ，因此妥善筹谋应对数字化背景下美西方情报保障工作最新趋势、充分借鉴美西方在俄乌冲突中的情报保障经验为我所用 ，具有重要的战略意义 ，具体包括以下五个方面:
2.1 Raise the level of strategic analysis and evaluation of intelligence assurance work in the digital age
The advent of the digital age has brought about a new situation for the intelligence assurance work of sovereign states. In this Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States and the West have given full play to the boosting effect of digital technology. Through digital technologies such as AI, big data, and remote control of UAVs, they have empowered intelligence assurance work and amply enhanced intelligence assurance capabilities in actual combat environments. In this context, China also needs to fully strengthen its overall understanding of intelligence assurance work in the digital age and further promote strategic analysis and evaluation in this field. Specifically, more relevant work needs to be done in three areas: First, strengthen the dynamic monitoring of cutting-edge issues in the field of international digital intelligence assurance. The development of digital technology is changing with each passing day, and its impact on intelligence assurance is also constantly changing. To strengthen strategic analysis and evaluation for digital intelligence assurance, we must first conduct real-time dynamic monitoring of digital intelligence assurance and accurately grasp the forefront of digital intelligence development. Second, we must establish working groups in competent departments such as the National Security Council. Strategic analysis and evaluation for intelligence assurance work in the digital age needs to give play to the leading role of government departments effectively. At the present stage, the Central National Security Committee is the core institution for implementing the overall national security concept and improving national security capacity building. Under digitalization conditions, it is also necessary to build dedicated strategic analysis and evaluation organizations in the relevant functional departments of the National Security Council to give full play to their coordinating role. Third, we must establish a regular exchange and analysis mechanism for experts and scholars from various fields in industry, academia, research, and government. Strengthening strategic analysis and evaluation for intelligence assurance work in the digital age also requires that experts and scholars in relevant fields of industry, academia, research, and business departments play their important roles and conduct in-depth analysis and trend analysis and evaluation on relevant cutting-edge issues.
数字时代的到来 ，带来了主权国家情报保障工作的全新局面 ，此次俄乌冲突中 ，美西方充分发挥了数字技术的助推作用 ，通过人工智能、大数据、无人机远程操控等数字技术对情报保障工作赋能 ，充分提升实战环境下的情报保障能力。 在此背景下 ，中国也需要充分加强对数字时代情报保障工作的整体认识 ，深入推进这一领域的战略研判。 具体而言 ，需从三大方面进一步做好相关工作:一是 ，加强对国际数字情报保障领域前沿问题的动态监测。 数字技术发展日新月异 ，其对情报保障工作的影响也时刻处于变化之中 ，加强对数字情报保障的战略研判 ，首先需要的就是对数字情报保障进行实时动态监测 ，准确把握数字情报发展的最前沿;二是 ，在国家安全委员会等主管部门中设置工作小组。 对数字时代情报保障工作的战略研判 ，需要有效发挥起政府部门的主导作用 ，现阶段 ，中央国家安全委员会是贯彻落实总体国家安全观、提升国家安全能力建设的核心机构 ，在数字化条件下 ，也有必要在国家安全委员会相关职能部门中构建专门的战略研判机构 ，充分发挥统筹作用;三是 ，建立产学研政各领域专家学者的定期交流分析机制。 加强对数字时代情报保障工作的战略研判也需要发挥相关领域产学研及业务部门专家学者的重要作用 ，对相关前沿议题进行深度剖析和趋势研判。
2.2 Comprehensively categorize and review the risks from U.S. and Western digital intelligence penetration facing China
Only by taking precautions in advance can we proceed with calm and confidence. In the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the strategic embarrassment suffered by Russia in the digital intelligence attack and defense by the United States and the West demands our full attention. At the present stage, it is necessary to comprehensively categorize and review the risks from U.S. and Western digital intelligence penetration that China may face and make proper preparations for them. Specifically, the corresponding approach to risk is mainly reflected as follows: First, it is necessary to comprehensively categorize and review the risks of open-source cyberspace intelligence leaks. In the digitalized environment, open-source cyberspace has become an important path for intelligence acquisition. In the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the use of open-source networks by the United States and the West also poses a major threat to Russia’s intelligence security. Therefore, at the present stage, China also needs to comprehensively categorize and review the risks of intelligence leaks in open-source cyberspace such as social media and online interactive platforms and focus on discovering those that, in international emergencies, will become a risk source for hostile forces to steal our security information. At the same time, platforms with recommendation algorithms are a path with intelligence leakage risk on which we must focus. At this stage, recommendation algorithms are very popular, and they are also the most likely path by which open-source intelligence analysts can capture information. They have a huge user base and are prone to leak risks. Therefore, at the present stage, on the one hand, we must categorize and review the risks of domestic recommendation algorithm platforms. On the other hand, we must also analyze and evaluate the leak risks of overseas recommendation algorithm platforms with Chinese investment and backgrounds in advance, so as to prevent relevant companies from becoming caught up in conflicts with other countries and maintain the security of China’s overseas interests. In addition, it is necessary to continuously improve security risk review mechanisms for the corresponding civilian technology. While promoting economic and social development, the continuous development of digital technology will also generate a series of leakage risks, especially the ease with which the leakage risks in many civilian technologies are overlooked. Therefore, in the process of digital technology development, we must continuously and dynamically monitor the leakage risks of relevant civilian technologies, strengthen the construction of security risk review mechanisms, and resolutely maintain China’s intelligence security.
未雨绸缪 ，方能从容不迫。 俄乌冲突中 ，俄罗斯在美西方数字情报攻防中的战略窘态需要引起我们的高度重视。 现阶段需要对中国可能面临的美西方数字情报渗透风险进行全面梳理 ，妥善应对准备 ，具体而言 ，相应风险路径主要体现为:首先 ，需对开源网络空间的情报泄密风险进行全面梳理。 数字化环境下 ，开源网络空间成为情报攫取的重要路径 ，此次俄乌冲突中 ，美西方利用开源网络也对俄罗斯的情报安全构成了重大威胁 ，因此现阶段 ，中国也需要对社交媒体、在线互动平台等开源网络空间的情报泄密风险进行全面梳理 ，重点发现突发国际事件中 ，会成为敌对势力窃取我方安全情报的风险源;同时 ，推荐算法平台是需重点关注的情报泄密风险路径。 现阶段 ，推荐算法是更为流行 ，也最易成为开源情报师攫取情报的路径 ，其拥有巨量的用户群体 ，极易产生泄密风险。 因此 ，现阶段一方面需对境内推荐算法平台进行风险梳理 ，另一方面也需要对具有中资背景的海外推荐算法平台泄密风险提前研判 ，避免相关企业陷入他国的冲突之中 ，维护中国的海外利益安全;另外 ，需不断完善对相应民用技术的安全风险审查机制。 数字技术的不断发展 ，在推动经济社会发展的同时 ，也会产生一系列的泄密风险 ，特别是大量的民用技术泄密风险极易被忽视 ，因此 ，在数字技术发展的过程中 ，需不断动态监测相关民用技术的泄密风险 ，加强安全风险审查机制构建 ，坚决维护我国情报安全。
2.3 Vigorously promote military-civil fusion in the development of cutting-edge digital S&T in the intelligence field
The advent of the digital age has not only placed corresponding external pressure on China’s intelligence assurance work, but also brought certain opportunities. At the present stage, China can learn from the relevant experience of the United States and the West in using military-civil fusion technology in the Russia-Ukraine conflict to improve its own intelligence assurance capabilities. Further efforts will be made in the following three areas: On the one hand, military-civil fusion in the field of satellite communication can be strengthened to provide communication technology support for intelligence assurance. In this Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Starlink satellite system has a huge multiplier effect on the intelligence assurance work of the U.S. and Western bloc and has played an important role. At the present stage, China’s aerospace satellite technology is developing rapidly, but the development of its civil aerospace sector still lags behind that of the United States and Western countries. Therefore, we can make full use of the good foundation of China’s aerospace industry, vigorously promote continuous improvement in the development level of civil aerospace industrialization, and provide more diversified paths that China’s intelligence assurance can rely on in the context of international emergencies. On the other hand, we must also constantly raise the development level of military-civil fusion in UAVs and other intelligence monitoring equipment. By virtue of their intrinsic technical characteristics, UAVs have greatly enhanced the intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities of the U.S. and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. China occupies a world-leading position in civilian UAV technology, and UAV companies such as DJI occupy a huge proportion of the international civilian drone market. At the present stage, we must also make full use of the good foundation provided by China’s civilian UAV technology and further strengthen the development of military-civil fusion so that China’s UAV intelligence monitoring technology will become better and more sophisticated. In addition, we can also promote the development of military-civil fusion in AI recognition. In the battlefield environment, the use of artificial intelligence terminals to conduct big data analysis on relevant military personnel and equipment can greatly improve the accuracy and timeliness of intelligence collection. Therefore, we can also learn from the relevant experience of the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, develop relevant military-civil fusion technology terminals, and conduct in-depth discussions on related technologies on the ethical level.
数字时代的来临 ，不仅给我国的情报保障工作带来相应外部压力 ，同时也带来了一定机遇 ，现阶段我国可借鉴美西方在俄乌冲突中运用军民融合技术提升自身情报保障能力的相关经验 ，在以下三个方面进一步着力:一方面 ，可加强卫星通讯领域的军民融合 ，为情报保障提供通讯技术支撑。 此次俄乌冲突中 ，星链卫星系统对美西方阵营情报保障工作产生的加乘作用十分巨大 ，发挥了重要作用 ，现阶段我国航天卫星技术发展迅猛 ，但民用航天发展仍滞后于美西方国家 ，因此可充分利用我国航天事业的良好基础 ，大力助推民用航天产业化发展水平不断提升 ，为突发国际事件背景下我国情报保障提供更加多元的路径依托;另一方面 ，也需不断提升无人机等情报监测设备的军民融合发展水平。 无人机依靠自身的技术特性 ，极大提升了此次俄乌冲突中美西方的情报侦察能力。 我国在民用无人机技术方面位于国际领先地位 ，大疆等无人机企业在国际民用无人机市场中占据巨大比重 ，现阶段也需要充分利用我国民用无人机技术的良好基础 ，进一步加强军民融合发展 ，使我国的无人机情报监测技术进一步成熟和完善;此外 ，还可推动人工智能识别的军民融合发展。 战场环境下 ，利用人工智能终端对相关军事人员和设备进行大数据分析 ，可极大提升情报收集的准确性和及时性 ，因此也可借鉴美西方在俄乌冲突中的相关经验 ，研发相关军民融合技术终端 ，并对相关技术进行深入的伦理层面探讨。
2.4 Strive to improve the security awareness of the whole people, especially young people, regarding open-source intelligence
The improvement of the national security awareness of the entire population is an important basis for effectively safeguarding national security. At present, in the face of the latest situation in the field of intelligence in the age of digitalization, it is of great significance to enhance the security awareness of the population in this field, and especially that of young people, so they understand the hot issues of open-source intelligence in the digital age represented by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In terms of specific improvement paths, we can focus on advancing along the following three paths: First, create a batch of popular science works with the theme of U.S. and Western open-source intelligence applications in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The intelligence assurance of the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict fully embodies the distinctive characteristics of intelligence work in the digital age and is of great significance as a source of inspiration and lessons. However, to improve the safety awareness of the whole population, and especially young people, we must incorporate practical cases in the Russia-Ukraine conflict to produce a batch of popular science books featuring distinctive characteristics and thorough analyses that are easy to understand. This is an important path by which we can improve the Chinese public’s understanding of issues such as open-source intelligence. Second, we must give full play to the important role of experts and scholars and carry out a series of related topical lectures. At present, Chinese short video platforms and other online platforms are developing rapidly and have a huge user base. They are an important way to promote public security awareness education. They can allow relevant experts and scholars to play their important role and carry out a series of popular science lectures, using actual combat scenarios such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict as specific cases, to publicize key issues such as open-source intelligence. Third, we must guide young people to understand and master the technical means of using open-source networks to search for information. Improving the public’s understanding of open-source intelligence in the context of digitalization should not be limited to passive responses, but should also focus on guiding young people and technical personnel in relevant civil fields to gradually master the technical methods of using network platforms for in-depth information retrieval. This can continuously cultivate the public’s deep understanding of open-source intelligence issues, while also laying a solid foundation of talent reserves for the development of the military-civil fusion industry in this field.
全民国家安全意识的提升是有效维护国家安全的重要依托。当前 ，面对数字化时代情报领域的最新态势 ，提升这一领域的全民安全意识 ，特别是青少年对以俄乌冲突为代表的数字时代开源情报热点问题认识 ，具有重要意义 ，而从具体提升路径方面来看 ，可在以下三大路径着力推进:一是 ，要打造一批以俄乌冲突中美西方开源情报应用为主题的科普作品。 俄乌冲突中美西方的情报保障充分体现了数字时代情报工作的鲜明特点 ，具有极强的启发借鉴意义 ，但提升全民特别是青少年的安全意识 ，也需要结合俄乌冲突中的实践案例 ，产出一批特点鲜明、论析透彻、易于理解的大众科普读物 ，这是提升国内公众对开源情报等问题理解水平的重要路径;二是 ，发挥专家学者的重要作用 ，开展一系列相关专题讲座。 现阶段国内短视频等在线平台发展迅猛 ，用户群体庞大 ，是推进公众安全意识教育的重要路径 ，可发挥相关专家学者的重要作用 ，开展一系列科普讲座 ，以俄乌冲突等实战场景为具体案例 ，宣介开源情报等重点问题;三是 ，引导青少年认识并掌握运用开源网络进行信息搜索的技术手段。 提升全民对数字化背景下开源情报的认识不应仅限于被动应对 ，更应着力引导青少年和相关民用领域技术人员 ，逐步掌握利用网络平台进行信息深度检索的技术方法 ，这一方面可不断培养大众对开源情报问题的深度认识 ，也可为该领域军民融合产业发展奠定坚实的人才储备基础。
2.5 Use international cooperation to implement international laws and regulations on the infringing behavior of the United States and the West on the digital security of other countries
In the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the practice employed by the United States and the West of using digital means to improve their intelligence assurance capabilities has brought about a revolution in modern intelligence. Among these changes, the methods of introducing civilian facilities such as Starlink into conflicts are still a gray area at the current stage of international law. If this trend is allowed to develop further, it will pose severe challenges to the intelligence security of China and most other countries. Therefore, China needs to join hands with relevant countries, allow international law to play its role, and effectively regulate the new intelligence methods of the United States and the West. Specifically, this includes: First, it is necessary to further clarify the wartime status of military-civilian dual-use communications and intelligence infrastructure such as Starlink. The Starlink satellite system has brought about a revolution in communication infrastructure, and it has played a huge role in the intelligence assurance of the U.S. and Western bloc in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It has the potential for massive expansion in the future through the construction of portable personal terminals and even direct links to mobile phones. However, as Starlink is an S&T product with novel military and civilian attributes, there is insufficient legal support for its reasonable regulation by international law. Therefore, it is necessary to give play to China’s constructive role and rely on platforms such as the International Telecommunication Union and the International Arms Control Organization to continuously refine the regulations on S&T products such as Starlink. In addition, it is also necessary to form international legal restrictions on the acquisition of open-source cyberspace intelligence. Cyberspace is an important new frontier of national security, and open-source cyberspace is also an important field for intelligence attack and defense in the context of digitalization. During the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States and the West took advantage of their dominant position in open-source cyberspace to capture a large amount of Russian intelligence. In the face of the wanton use of open-source cyberspace to capture security intelligence by the United States and the West, China and other relevant countries must carry out in-depth cooperation to promote the continuous improvement of international regulations on open-source cyberspace and effectively safeguard the security interests of all countries.
俄乌冲突中美西方运用数字化手段提升自身情报保障能力的实践 ，带来了一场现代情报的革命 ，其中诸如将星链等民用设施引入冲突之中的方式 ，在国际法层面现阶段依然处于灰色地带 ，任由这一趋势进一步发展 ，将给中国等最广大国家的情报安全带来严峻挑战 ，因此中国需与相关国家共同携手 ，发挥国际法作用 ，对美西方的新型情报方式进行有效规制 ，具体包括:首先 ，需进一步明确星链等军民两用通讯情报基础设施的战时地位问题。 星链卫星系统带来了通讯基础设施的革命 ，其在俄乌冲突中对美西方阵营的情报保障发挥了巨大效能 ，且其未来在便携式个人终端建设乃至于直接链接手机等方面有着巨大的拓展空间 ，但是星链作为有鲜明军民两用属性的科技产品 ，在国际法上如何对其进行合理规制 ，仍缺乏足够的法理支撑 ，因此需发挥中国的建设性作用 ，依托国际电信联盟、国际军控组织等平台 ，不断细化对星链等科技产品的规制;另一方面 ，也需形成对开源网络空间情报攫取的国际法限制。 网络空间是国家安全的重要新疆域 ，开源网络空间也是数字化背景下情报攻防的重要场域 ，俄乌冲突中 ，美西方利用自身在开源网络空间的主导性地位攫取了大量俄罗斯情报。 面对美西方肆意利用开源网络空间攫取安全情报的行为 ，中国等相关国家需开展深层次合作 ，推动开源网络空间国际规制不断完善 ，有效维护各国安全利益。
This paper provides a comprehensive categorization and review of U.S. and Western intelligence assurance practices in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and their lessons. This paper argues that, in the context of the digital age, the intelligence assurance work of the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict conforms to the overall digital transformation trend in intelligence assurance. Its practical experience is reflected in the following points: Digital S&T has become a strategic weapon for the United States and the West to carry out offensive and defensive intelligence operations and dual-use technology plays an important role in U.S. and Western intelligence gathering. At the same time, non-professionals have become important entities relied on by the U.S. and Western for intelligence assurance and open-source networks have become an important source of security intelligence for the United States and the West. The achievement of highly efficient intelligence assurance by the United States and the West in the Russia-Ukraine conflict demands our attention and vigilance. Its lessons are that we must raise the level of strategic analysis and evaluation of intelligence assurance work in the digital age, comprehensively categorize and review the risks from U.S. and Western digital intelligence penetration facing China, vigorously promote military-civil fusion in the development of cutting-edge digital S&T in the intelligence field, strive to improve the security awareness of the whole population, especially young people, regarding open-source intelligence, and also use international cooperation to implement international laws and regulations on the infringing behavior of the United States and the West on the digital security of other countries.
本文对美西方在俄乌冲突中的情报保障实践及其启示进行了全面梳理。本文认为 ，数字时代背景下 ，美西方在俄乌冲突中的情报保障工作顺应了情报保障数字化转型的整体趋势 ，其实践经验体现为:数字科技成为美西方进行情报攻防的战略利器 ，军民两用技术也在美西方的情报收集中发挥重要作用 ，同时 ，非专业人员成为美西方情报保障的重要依托主体 ，开源网络也成为美西方攫取安全情报的重要来源。美西方在俄乌冲突中高效情报保障的实现 ，需要引起我们的重视和警醒 ，其启示在于 ，要提升对数字时代情报保障工作的战略研判水平 ，全面梳理我国面临的美西方数字情报渗透风险 ，大力推动情报领域尖端数字科技的军民融合式发展 ，着力提升全民特别是青少年对开源情报的安全意识 ，同时通过国际合作对美西方侵犯他国数字安全的行为进行国际法规制。