The Swedish government has published a 20-page booklet providing guidelines in the event of ‘Crisis or War’. With tensions in the Baltic rising and an increasingly real threat posed by Russia Stockholm looks to prepare its citizens. Not only has the pamphlet, from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, has been published in both Swedish and English but audio versions have also been recorded.
Illustrated with reasuring cartoons the new pamphlet is reminiscent of the civil defence leaflets and booklets published by many Western countries during the Cold War, the content is familiar too. Covering emergency preparedness, what sirens sound like, where to find bomb shelters, and what to do in the event of an invasion. However, some sections that cover cyberattacks, how to spot propaganda and what to do in the event of a terror attack perhaps address more contemporary threats.
The 20-page booklet, titled ‘If Crisis or War Comes‘, which has been sent to nearly 5 million households, begins with a direct message from the Swedish government. Stating that:
“Many people may feel a sense of anxiety when faced with an uncertain world. Although Sweden is safer than many other countries, there are still threats to our security and independence. Peace, freedom and democracy are values that we must protect and reinforce on a daily basis…
If you are prepared, you are contributing to improving the ability of the country as a whole to cope with a major strain.”
The resurgent threat from Russia in the Baltic has recently seen Sweden reintroduce conscription, increase military spending and begin stationing troops on the strategic island of Gotland.
While officially a longstanding neutral state Sweden takes its defence seriously. The booklet strikes a defiant and resolute tone throughout telling Swedes that they have a duty to act if their country is attacked: “If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up. All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false.”
You can read or listen to the entire booklet here.