Swedish Ministry of Defense Tells Towns to Prepare for War With Russia
Sweden's civil protection agency organized under the Ministry of Defense has issued an offical letter to country's local authorities to prepare for a possible war with Russia.
Swedish municipalities are instructed to cooperate on war exercises with the Swedish army, to prepare for evacuation to underground bunkers and maintain a system of alarm sirens.
Some municipalities have complained the instructions are vague, particularly on the question of where are they supposed to get money for all of this:
The letter has provoked complaints from some municipalities that they have insufficient information on what is required and have not been provided with the necessary funding.Jonas Hult, head of Safety and Security for the city of Malmö, told Sydsvenskan that the city still had no plans on how to distribute protective masks, vaccines, or petrol, or on how to direct people to bunkers and shelters in the event of an attack.
“Increasing war-readiness costs money, and it’s money municipalities do not have,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that the municipalities have been left in the lurch.”
But of course there are others who won't let grumbling municipal officials get in the way of a phony war threat:
Magnus Dyberg-Ek, of the MSB, told SvD the letter had been sent out in response to an increased threat level.
“What is new is that the security situation in our region has deteriorated and that therefore we must prepare ourselves in terms of war and of conflict," he said.
“We have sent out the letter in part because local authorities want clear instructions so that they know how to act in a crisis situation.”
He added: “This strategy is not new – we used it during the Cold War and will now strengthen coordination regarding civil defence."
When the measures were first approved last year, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven described the security situation as having deteriorated, attributing this explicitly to the threat posed by Russia.
"Russian aggression and the destabilisation of Ukraine pose the most serious challenge to the European security order since the end of the Cold War," he told the Swedish parliament.
"Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea is a violation of international law. Borders must not be changed by force. Our support to Ukraine, both political and economic, will continue. A modern total defence is being developed to respond to the challenges presented by the changing security policy situation."