Sweden prepares public for war as unease over Russia grows
Sweden is preparing to reissue a public information manual on what to do in the event of war, as debate in the country grows over how to deal with the threat from Russia.
The brochure due to be sent to 4.7 million households will inform the public how they can take part in "total defence" during a war and secure water, food and heating. The booklet, with the working title 'If Crisis or War Comes', will also give guidance on dealing with threats from cyber attacks and terrorism.
Russia's annexation of Crimea and military support for Ukrainian separatists, along with increased activity and exercises near the Baltic states and Scandinavia, have caused deep unease in Sweden. The neutral country has begun to reverse post-Cold War defence cuts and step up military preparedness as incursions by Russian planes and submarines have sparked public debate over whether to join Nato.
Last year, the country held its biggest military exercise in 23 years and voted to reintroduce conscription. It said it would start negotiations to buy a US-made Patriot missile defence system.
Towns have also been ordered to dust off Cold War-era civil defence contingency plans, including ensuring that bunkers are upgraded and maintained.
The first edition of the 'If War Comes' booklet was published during the Second World War and similar instructions have not been given out since 1961.
© Daily Telegraph, London