Sweden's defense officials warn public to brace for 'war' as NATO membership nears

Citizens of Sweden are reporetedly panicking after defense officials gave an ominous warning that there "could be war" as the nation nears its membership with NATO, Fox News reports. Finland, the newest country to join NATO, was warned by Russia last month that if their relations further deteriorate, it would be the "first to suffer."

With Turkey's Parliament set to ratify Sweden's NATO membership in the coming weeks, top military and government officials have warned people to stay vigilant.

"For a nation for whom peace has been a pleasant companion for almost 210 years, the idea that it is an immoveable constant is conveniently close at hand," Swedish Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin said at a security conference in western Sweden Sunday.

"But taking comfort in this conclusion has become more dangerous than it has been for a very long time," he said, according to a government transcript. "Many have said it before me, but let me do so in an official capacity, more plainly and with naked clarity: There could be war in Sweden."

As the country is two steps away from joining NATO, commander in chief of the Swedish armed forces General Micael Byden told the conference, "We must understand how serious this situation really is and that people, down to the individual level, are preparing themselves mentally."

He later told a local news outlet that his intent "is not to worry people; my ambition is to get more people to think about their own situation and their own responsibilities."

Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson also said Monday, ""An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out."

While Bohlin's comments were intended for adults and supposedly those who work in emergency preparedness, his message was reportedly spread on TikTok and reached worried children, who then called into children's rights organization Bris regarding the warning.

"This was well prepared, it wasn't something blurted out," Bris spokeswoman Maja Dahl told the BBC. "They should have provided information meant for kids when they come out with this kind of information for grown-ups." 

Another account on X under the username @amuse, that supports independent journalists, stated that Swedes are now buying up emergency supplies and stocking up on food in a panic.

Sweden’s Civil Defense Ministry said Monday, "the government is now equipping Sweden for previously unthinkable scenarios such as heightened preparedness and extreme war."

"We are strengthening preparedness in several areas," the statement said. "As part of this, the government is now giving the Swedish Agency for Community Protection and Preparedness (MSB) and the National Board of Health and Welfare the task of carrying out a supply analysis regarding the need for and access to healthcare products that are needed for good care to be provided." 

However ex-Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Swedish TV that "it is not as if war is just outside the door."

Image: Title: bohlin byden
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