Sweden releases war preparation booklet amid Russia worries

Stockholm (AFP) –


The Swedish government on Monday presented an emergency pamphlet to prepare citizens in the event of a war, natural disaster, or cyber attack amid soaring tensions between Russia and the Western allies.

Entitled "If Crisis or War Comes", the brochure is published in 13 languages at the request of the government and gives advice on how to take shelter, what foods to store and what information to trust. It will be sent to 4.8 million Swedes between May 28 and June 3.

The 20-page document outlines with simple illustrations the threats which the Nordic nation is facing such as military conflict, natural disaster and terror attacks similar to the deadly Stockholm truck attack last year.

"Even if Sweden is safer than many other countries...threats do exist," said Dan Eliasson, head of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, which prepared the booklet.

"It's important that everyone has knowledge of what can threaten us so we can prepare in case something serious occurs," he told a news conference in Stockholm.

"It might affect our import of goods like food and so on. Even though the military conflict is not in Sweden itself, we can get affected," Christina Andersson, the brochure's project manager, told AFP.

The last time such a brochure was printed was in 1961 during the Cold War. While the latest booklet does not point to any country, its release comes amid fears of an open conflict between NATO and Russia over Moscow's military activities along its borders.

Sweden, which is not a NATO member, does not share a border with Russia, but the two nations are connected across the Baltic Sea, where Moscow has a naval base in Baltiysk, located in the Kaliningrad region east of the Stockholm coastline.

The sight of an unidentified submarine in the Stockholm archipelago in the autumn of 2014 exasperated Russian worries, followed by several violations of Swedish airspace by Russian aircraft.