International Security Index iSi




"Strategic stability in its classical sense – understood as a state of US- Russian relations under which neither side has incentives to launch a first nuclear strike – was developed during the Cold War", - a consultant at PIR Center Andrey Baklitskiy

This paper has been produced for the joint PIR Center – CSIS project “Reducing nuclear risks during Great Powers Competition”. We thank our partners in CSIS for their cooperation and support for this publication


“On the night of January 3, 2020, the US Air Force killed an Iranian general, the head of the special forces of the IRGC, Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad. In response, Iran launched a missile attack on two US bases in Iraq and announced the fifth and final stage of reducing commitments under the JCPOA. Despite bombastic headlines in the media (some were subsequently deleted), Iran continued to cooperate with the IAEA inspectors and suspended the 60-day cycles of reducing its commitments under the agreement "- this is the main note of the 519th issue of the Yaderny Kontrol bulletin.


"Denunciation on August 2, 2019 of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, dated 1987), initiated by the USA, threatens to cause a ripple effect of the collapse of the entire nuclear weapon control system built over the past half-century", – academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexey Arbatov

This paper has been produced for the joint PIR Center – CSIS project “Reducing nuclear risks during Great Powers Competition”. We thank our partners in CSIS for their cooperation and support for this publication

Security in Cyber Space

Security in Cyber Space

(2 credits)

The course program developed by

Dr. Elena V. Chernenko, Deputy Head, Foreign Policy Desk, Kommersant, member of the PIR Center’s Executive Board

Mr. Mikhail V. Yakushev, Executive Vice-President for Cooperation with Public Authorities, JSC "VimpelCom", Member of the PIR Center’s Advisory Board.

1.1    The place and role of the course in the program of study:

Information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) have become one of the most ubiquitous, fundamental, and genuinely global technologies that define the dynamics of the development of the global economy and international security.

Technologically advanced countries have developed a comprehensive financial and infrastructural capability and expertise to use ICT for military-political purposes. In view of the evolution of malicious software; growing threats to critical infrastructure; increasing dependence of all the key sectors or the global and national economy, governance, and security on ICT it is safe to say that in the developed countries, the potential to achieve the goals of the conflict using ICT is approaching the potential of kinetic weapons and even WMD.

WMD nonproliferation, prospects of arms control and nuclear safety and security themselves are influenced by development of ICT technologies and opportunities for military use of cyber space.

The course “Security Issues in Cyber Space” aims at providing knowledge on influence of ICT and strategic use of cyber space on global security and strategic stability, arms control, disarmament and nuclear security.

The course will provide knowledge on ICT and cyber space, which is important for future experts in WMD nonproliferation. The course reveals and considers new aspects of international and political context of disarmament, arms control, nonproliferation and nuclear security.

The course will examine such dimensions of the interrelation between cyber security issues and nonproliferation as:

- Implications of the ICT developments for nonproliferation, disarmament, arms control and nuclear security;
- ICT and cyber space impact on future of deterrence, strategic stability, strategic relations and global security;
- Possibilities and limitations for use of nonproliferation and arms control experience for development of international regulation of cyber space and its use in military purposes;
- Cyber security of nuclear and other critical infrastructure.

1.2 The course goals and objectives:

The main goal of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge on the elements of ICT and cyber space development, which have an impact on global security. Among the practical tasks is to raise awareness among students of the importance of information and computer security as a fundamental part of the overall security of nuclear facilities.

Course objectives:

- To introduce basic definitions, concepts, history current state and infrastructure of ICT and military use of cyber space in the context of global security and impact of ICT on future of strategic relations and nuclear security.
- To orient students to understand the relationship between use of cyber space and nonproliferation aspects of global security.
- To provide students with methodology of analysis of the cyber risks to nuclear security and global security, arising from use of cyber technologies and use of cyber space.  

1.3  Learning outcomes:

Classes are generally held to provide knowledge and methodology for further analysis and discussion on the matter of the course.

Teaching methods used include lectures, consultations, seminars, debate, discussions and students’ seminar presentations.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

1. Understand interrelations between development of cyber technologies and strategic and nuclear sphere.
2. Analyze keys vulnerabilities and risks of nuclear security, arms control and disarmament process, connected with growing access to cyber technologies.
3. Correlate advantages and risks of use of cyber technologies for nuclear sphere.
4. Analyze and compare international bilateral and multilateral initiatives and programs on peaceful and military use of ICT.
5. Assess the efficiencies and deficiencies of the existing political and legal frameworks on ICT regulation and nuclear security.
6. Search information and literature on cyber and nuclear issues, distinguish between authoritative and unreliable sources on these issues.

1.4 Course requirements:

Students will be required to attend not less than 90% of classes and to be prepared for class discussions. Conscientious reading of the assigned materials is compulsory. Students will also be required to participate in seminar discussions and to present written test.

1.5  Grading plan:

Average assessment will consist of three parts. First part is derived from students’ class active class participation and participation in seminar discussions. Second part consists of preparation of presentation by students. Third part is a grade for written test. If the student receives ≥ 70 average points, he/she passes the final test automatically. If the average points are < 70, the student passes the final test orally. In that case final assessment is < 70 points.

To get «А» (“excellent”) student should get 90-100 points



Class participation and seminar activity (participation in discussion, questions, comments)




Final Test




Course outline & Literature (available in pdf)

Slides in pdf:

Lecture 1. Introduction to the course. Political implications of Internet technologies, Internet Governance and regulation of Cyberspace

Lecture 2. Current status of legal regulation of the use of the Internet:problems of global online identification

Lecture 3. Security issues in cyberspace. The quest for rules of the road

Seminar Presentations:

Russian cyber capabilities

Chinese cyber capabilities

Snowden files

DarkNet from the angle of international security

Is Deterrence Possible in Cyber Space?