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Swedes told to prepare for conflict in Cold War-style booklet

22 May 2018

"If Crisis Or War Comes" is an update of the "If War Comes" booklet last released in the 1980s and first produced during the Second World War.

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.

"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 Swedish website The Local.

'The military situation has deteriorated in Europe in recent years and Russian military capabilities are increasing and will continue to increase, ' the commission chairman Bjorn von Sydow, a former Social Democrats defence minister, said at the time.

The booklet also gives a guide to different warning signals and what they mean, as well as further information on where to locate bomb shelters.

The brochure starts with a message, "Although Sweden is safer than many other countries, there are still threats to our security and independence".

It says that citizens between 16 and 70 have a "duty to contribute to total defense" in the event of a crisis, and may be asked to assist in various ways.

Elsewhere in the pamphlet, residents are told what to do in the event of a terror attack, with the booklet saying: "Put your mobile on silent and do not call anyone who may be in the danger area".

"Comply with requests from the police, the fire and rescue service and the authorities".

It's published by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and also warns the public that key supplies of food, medicine and gasoline could run short if the country were to enter a crisis.

Swedes are generally considered a very peaceful nation and have not engaged in war since their victory against Norway some 200 years ago.

And as if to underline it, the Swedish government has issued a leaflet to all 4,8 million homes in the country.

Scandinavian nations may have a reputation as enlightened and peaceful, but "if Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up", the booklet says, adding: "All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false".

The leaflet, which is entitled If Crisis or War Comes, has been distributed amid concerns over Russia's military activities and the rise of terrorism and fake news.

Swedes told to prepare for conflict in Cold War-style booklet