Sweden prepares itself for war Video

Lawrence Kim
May 22, 2018

The brochure, titled "Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes)", was compiled by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and instructs civilians on what to do if "their everyday life was turned upside down".

Stockholm has repeatedly referred to Russian aggression as being one of the reasons behind heightening security measures, like the introduction of conscription this year and the stationing of troops in the Swedish island of Gotland.

Sweden has not gone to war with another country for over two centuries, but that hasn't stopped the government from reissuing an emergency manual from World War II that advises citizens on how best to cope with hypothetical hostilities.

The brochure will be delivered to 4.8 million Swedish households in the coming weeks.

The decision to boost defense spending by $720 million over five years was taken in February 2015 - but Sweden is lacking suitable numbers for its defense forces.

In 2016, the Swedish government made a decision to start increasing military spending, reversing years of declines.

The Swedes are advised to stock non-perishable food, water bottles, warm clothing and sleeping bags.

It may come as a surprise to learn that everyone living in Sweden has a "duty to contribute to total defence", which in practice means anyone aged between 16 and 70 can be asked to assist in various ways in the event of war or threat of war, the booklet explains.

The stark informational document is illustrated with pictures of sirens, warplanes and families fleeing from war.

"Society is vulnerable, so we need to prepare ourselves as individuals", said Dan Eliasson of the Swedish civil contingencies agency, which is in charge of the project.

The agency said Sweden is safer than many other countries but was aware the brochure may raise "questions and some concerns". Sweden was neutral in 1943.

Sweden has not been at war for more than 200 years, not since its war with Norway in 1814. Updates were issued regularly to the general public until 1961, and then to local and national government officials until 1991. "All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false", the pamphlet says in a statement highlighted by a red background.

"If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up", according to the pamphlet that will be distributed during the May 28-June 3 Emergency Preparedness Week.

The advice comes following months of global unrest amid the ongoing Syrian war and fears of a nuclear threat from North Korea.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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