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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, August 16, 2018

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Faced with Russian aggression, Sweden prepares its citizens

Sweden has revamped its defense strategy

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Faced with perceived Russian aggression, Sweden has revamped its defense strategy in recent months.

Now, responding to the threats, Sweden is reportedly preparing to issue a public information manual on the best way to deal with the prospect of war.

As the region is gripped with fears of an apparent rise in Russian action, Sweden will issue leaflets such integral information to 4.7 million households this spring.

The leaflets reportedly urge citizens to prepare for "crisis and catastrophes in peacetime, but also for different kinds of attacks on society and Sweden.” 

According to a Civil Contingencies Agency spokesperson, the pamphlet is prompted partly by the "security situation in our neighbourhood," i.e. the Baltic area.

According to authorities, the leaflets will be published later this year and aim to educate Swedes on how to prepare in case "their world gets turned upside down.” 

It asks municipal regions to ready previous Cold War bunkers.

The spokesperson for the Civil Contingencies Agency said that the literature will also provide practical tips to ensure citizens have all the necessary food, water and blankets stocked at home.

Over the recent period, Sweden has launch a revamp of its defense forces - pouring in heavy investment into its defense strategy, reintroducing conscription and also positioning troops on the strategically important island of Gotland.

In February 2015, the country decided to boost defense spending by $720 million over five years.

In 2010, Sweden suspended conscription and instead adopted a recruitment system which relied on volunteers.

However, in March 2017, it changed tack and announced conscription would return in 2018.

The country however still lacks suitable numbers for its defense forces.

Government figures released in March showed that the armed forces were 1,000 troops short in terms of full-time squad leaders, soldiers and sailors.

As per its new plan, the country aims to ensure there are 6,000 full-time members serving with 10,000 available on a part-time basis.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said that in May 2017, “the Russian regime has showed they are ready to use military powers to fulfil political goals."

While Sweden is not a member of NATO, the country has contributed to NATO-led operations and enjoys bilateral ties with the alliance.

The brochure titled ‘If Crisis or War Comes’ will be sent to 4.7 million households and will provide expert guidance on the best way to deal with threats from cyber attacks, climate change and terrorism.

 

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