The war has sparked fears of war in Sweden’s own neighborhood, the Baltic Sea, where ex-Soviet states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania feel Moscow has set a dangerous precedent for marching into countries it once commanded when they break ranks with the Kremlin.
Sweden, which has refused to join any formal military alliance for years, has since held its biggest defense drill for around a quarter of a century with U.S. and other militaries in September. It also agreed a billion dollar deal for the U.S.-made surface-to-air missile system. But Sweden’s Ministry of Defense believes this is not enough and officials have drafted the first civilian war guide for over half a century, the Financial Times reported.
“All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military,” Christina Andersson, leader of the project at the government-run Swedish Civil Contingencies agency. “We haven’t been using words such as total defense or high alert for 25-30 years or more. So the knowledge among citizens is very low.”