For the first time since the Cold War Swedish government issued a new civil defense brochure, according to portal. A 20-page long document was prepared by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and will be delivered to 5 million addresses across the country. The brochure is titled “If Crisis or War Comes” and explains how to prepare for a national emergency. While the document touches heavily upon food and shelter preparations, it also warns the population on the dangers of misinformation. Fake news in the media has been a subject of a lot of discussions lately as many blame Russia for utilizing the media channels for spreading false information for political reasons.

The brochure warns people against spreading false information during the times of crises. “What is most important is that you have water, food, and warmth and are able to obtain information from the authorities and the media. In the event of emergencies and heightened states of alert, their tasks include distributing important information to Sweden’s population. You are needed and your contribution makes a difference!” – says the document. The brochure also gives information as to which media channels are the most trustworthy during emergencies. It names Sveriges Radio’s P4 station as well as the Sveriges Television as primary sources of information during such moments. Both channels are state-run and consequently are less susceptible to corruption.

The document also touches upon why it became necessary to publish a civil defense brochure right now saying “for many years, the preparations made in Sweden for the threat of war and war have been very limited. Instead, public authorities and municipalities have focused on building up the level of preparedness for peacetime emergencies such as flooding and IT attacks. However, as the world around us has changed, the Government has decided to strengthen Sweden’s total defense. That is why planning for Sweden’s civil defense has been resumed”.

Although there is no mention of Russia specifically in the brochure, many assume that it was the main motivator behind the document. Russia has openly criticised Sweden for its ties with NATO members and since the country is known to employee information warfare along with traditional tactics, it is not surprising that Sweden found it necessary to prepare the population for a crisis. Raising awareness of fake news and warning media outlets to maintain their integrity could lead to more protection when it comes to foreign powers trying to invade the local media channels.

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