Since Russia’s full-scale invasion into Ukraine, Sweden has grown more wary of Russian aggression. The Swedish government wants its citizens to be ready for the worst-case scenario and is encouraging them to become “preppers.”
After Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and stepped up military exercises along the Baltic states, Sweden responded in 2017 by reintroducing compulsory military service. Sweden is expanding and better equipping its armed forces, while gradually increasing its defense budget. When Sweden requested NATO membership earlier this year, it marked a historic reversal of the nation’s longtime stance of military non-alignment.
Now, it’s up to Swedish citizens to ready themselves for the unthinkable and actively prepare for disaster. Robin has been prepping for years. The father sees to it that his home in Stockholm always has enough supplies for his family to survive independently for several weeks. He takes regular trips to the forest to spend a few days in the wilderness. His children always come with him, so that they, too, can practice survival skills.
In Sweden, interest in prepping is at an all-time high. Across all social strata, people are carefully stocking tins, training survival skills, and even learning how to shoot. And the preppers are networking. Pär Plüschke is 38 and offers prepping courses. He says enrollment used to be manageable but now he can hardly keep up with the demand.
In the wake of intensifying armed conflicts, the disastrous effects of climate change, and a growing threat of cyber attacks, more and more Swedes want to take action. Instead of simply discussing these issues, they feel this is the best way to assume responsibility for themselves and protect their community.
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