Sweden Apparently Preparing for War with Russia?

Sweden releases leaflets for hypothetical Russian invasion

Jake Hughes
January 23, 2018 - 11:50 am

(Xinhua/Shi Tiansheng) (Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)

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Tensions have been rising between Sweden and Russia in recent months, with Russia's increased military presence along its western borders. According to Vice News, later this year, the Swedish government will distribute leaflets explaining what to do in the case of a Russian invasion.

The leaflets, which also explain what to do in response to a terrorist or cyber-terrorist attack and a natural disaster, were announced in response to what Swedish officials are calling a "security situation" in the Baltic Sea. They are part of a wider effort by Stockholm to revamp its defenses in light of increased Kremlin aggression. In November of last year, the Swedish government began negotiating with Raytheon to buy a Patriot missile defense system, joining 13 other nations who have implemented the system in recent years. Sweden has also reinstated a draft, enlisting over 4,000 people in response to "Russian aggression." In recent years, Russian incursions in Georgia, the Crimea, and Ukraine have left Sweden understandably nervous.

A relic of World War II, the leaflets are titled "If War Comes." According to NPR, they detail how to discern different sirens and warnings. Also included are what items to bring to underground shelters, what clothing to wear, and other things related to survival.

Last year saw one of Sweden's largest war games display, including a show of force with over 20,000 troops. In response, the Kremlin launched its own military exercise that NATO says boasted over 13,000 soldiers. The Swedish military has also increased its presence on the strategic island of Gotland, which they predict would be a key target between a war with Russia and NATO forces.

“There is a significantly more complex threat with climate change, terror attacks, pandemics and manipulation of information,” Christina Andersson of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency told the Aftonbladet newspaper. “People need to learn and know about how to deal with it.”