SÄPO warns of Russian war plans

Russia is engaged in preparations for war or the threat of armed violence against Sweden, according to the National Security Police (SÄPO). At the same time, says defense minister Karin Enström that all military cooperation with Russia is suspended and that the reform of the Swedish armed forces must speed up.

The Russian bomber of type Tu 22 (Backfire) practiced Friday night attack in 2013 is one of several Russian military preparations.

The three statements is a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. On Monday SÄPO is planned to release information on the situation. A new element is that Russia now for the first time since the cold war, singled out as a threat to national defense.

– Russia engaged in war preparations and it is a little unsettling. We see an increased Russian intelligence operations because of what is happening in Ukraine and in Crimea. Some of this we interpret as preparations for war, or the threat of armed violence, against Sweden, “said Wilhelm kid who is Chief Analyst at SÄPO’s Counterintelligence.

It is the Russian military intelligence GRU which is subject to the General staff that stepped up their activities in Sweden, according to the SÄPO.

Specifically, it is about different conspirative methods from Russian side. For example, attempts to recruit people for spying, electronic Swedish attacks on IT systems, signals intelligence, or attempt to penetrate into the Swedish military installations.

In addition, the Russians bought into large amounts of maps of especially sensitive areas in Sweden.

Added to this is the use of good Friday night that Russian 2013 and on 28 October 2013 made simulated attacks against targets in Sweden.

– Linked to the fact that we’ve seen that Russia is now ready to use their combat forces in other countries, so the concern. The simulated air attacks against Sweden is the clearest example of war preparations. They do not know if you do not intend to do so at some point in the future, says William Young.

Sweden suspended its military exchanges with Russia immediately.

– The armed forces ‘ cooperation with Russia is suspended. All planned military activities with Russia are set, said defense minister Karin Enström at a conference organized by the People and Defense.

The Defense Minister stated that Russia change Europe’s borders by force. This increases the risk of a regional conflict in the neighborhood. She mentioned that better air defenses, more Gripen fighter aircrafts and new submarines are needed.

The ongoing defense reform “should be implemented as soon as possible”, according to the Defense Minister. From the beginning, the new defense organization be staffed with volunteers in 2014.

But Manning has been at the pace the economy allowed and no more than about nine years, 2023, is betting the organization fully staffed.

“We have already embarked on an increase in funding, but my assessment is that we will have to make further reinforcements”, said Karin Enström.

Even so, the Defense Minister told that the overall savings that the Government decided on as late as February 20, remains unchanged. It affects the defense by about SEK 100 million per year.