The Swedish government has issued a war pamphlet to every one of its 4.8 million households, instructing them on what to do in the event of armed conflict. The pamphlet was first created during WWII and was last issued in the 1980s.
Put together by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), the booklet offers guidelines on how citizens are to react if “their everyday life was turned upside down.”
“We all have a responsibility for our country’s safety and preparedness, so it’s important for everyone to also have knowledge on how we can contribute if something serious occurs,” MSB General Director Dan Eliasson said in a statement, according to The Local, a Swedish news site.
“Sweden is safer than many other countries but threats exist.”
The 20-page booklet titled, “Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes),” directs citizens on how to stock their homes with appropriate food and supplies and what to do in the event of terror or military attacks.
The re-issue of the booklet comes amid heightened tensions with foreign actors, specifically Russia. In February the country announced it was taking steps to “Russia-proof” its national elections taking place later this year.
Efforts included reinstating military conscription for Sweden’s armed services and boosting defense spending. A joint effort by four of the nation’s biggest news outlets was formed to combat the threat of fake news and hundreds of election workers have been trained to spot foreign influence.
Sweden has become an important target for Russian interference efforts in recent years. It is not a member of NATO which Russia considers a military threat but movement towards NATO has shifted since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. A major political party in Sweden now says it will move to join the alliance if it comes to power, a move 47% of Swedes support according to recent polling.
The pamphlet implores all Swedes to take part in any national defense measures and to be wary of misleading information entreating surrender.
“If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up,” it says. “All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false.”
Photo via Wikimedia Commons