Sweden’s most senior generals and the Defence Minister have doubled down on their warning that an “armed attack” against the country “cannot be ruled out.”
Carl-Oskar Bohlin, the Civil Defence Minister warned there “could be war in Sweden” as they are facing a “very serious situation.”
Sweden are to join NATO later this year amid Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and citizens are being urged to prepare for potential conflict with Russia.
The country’s answer to Childline has been bombarded with calls from Gen Z after Sweden being put on high alert and defence officials telling people to prepare for war.
Read more on Russia-Ukraine war:
Defence Minister warns ‘there could be a war in Sweden’ as they are facing a ‘very serious situation’
Bris who are a children’s rights firm and deal with young people who have mental health issues has reported a rise in calls since Sweden is now on a war footing.
Bohlin, the Civil Defence Minister, told the Folk och Försvars conference, “For a nation for whom peace has been a pleasant companion for almost 210-years, the idea that it is an immovable constant is conveniently close at hand.
“But taking comfort in this conclusion has become more dangerous than it has been for a very long time.”
He added, “Are you a private individual? Have you considered whether you have time to join a voluntary defence organisation? If not: get moving.”
Maja Dahl, a spokesman for Bris, said that Bohlin should have considered how his “well prepared” remarks would have been interpreted by young people across Sweden.
“They should have provided information meant for kids when they come out with this kind of information for grown-ups,” she told the BBC.
However, Pal Jonson, the Defence Minister, told the conference on Sunday in a warning that “an armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out.”
The Defence Minister said, “War can also come to us.
“These serious times require clarity of vision, capacity to act and persistence – clarity of vision to understand that Russia’s goal remains the eradication of a free Ukraine and creation of a Europe in which ‘might is right’ with buffer states and spheres of interest.”
Commander-in-Chief Micael Byden also told citizens that they must mentally prepare for conflict with Russia.
Byden warned, “This is a very serious situation, and the clarity yesterday was unmistakable. It is now about moving from words and understanding to action.”
The Russian Senator Pushkov, chairman of the information committee of the Senate, hit back at Sweden’s warning of a potential war with Russia, he described it as “anti-Russian paranoia.”
Vladimir Putin also echoed Pushkov’s response saying Sweden is a leading country within Europe that are anti-Russian.
Putin wrote on Telegram, “Sweden is one of the first countries in Europe in terms of the level of anti-Russian paranoia.
“Russian submarines have been fishing there for many years, and for some, this has become the main occupation in life.”
Pushkov said that Sweden’s Civil Defence Minister, Carl-Oskar Bohlin, warnings for war are “nonsense,” which is a very similar response Moscow made against Kyiv and the West before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pushkov added, “Apparently, this is how they try to give Sweden a geopolitical importance that it does not have.
“Sometimes it seems that some Swedish military personnel, as well as journalists, are almost dreaming of war.”