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The other week there were headlines in Swedish media about a Russian campaign portraying Swedish WWII figures as nazi sympathisers. Mostly accurate and about persons most people today don't care about, but it also included a remark from beloved childrens book author Astrid Lindgren from 1940 about preferring Hitler to Stalin. Painting Astrid Lindgren as a nazi is a sure way to get an emotional response and guarantee headlines.

One article mentioned that the campaign seemed to consist of posters around the Swedish embassy.

So a Russian campaign aimed solely at Swedish media, which could only strenghten the likelihood of Sweden joining Nato. Odd.

Now this:

Now the most popular state-owned television channel, Russia-1, has broadcast mocked-up clips of nuclear weapons destroying Ireland in a report introduced by Dmitry Kiselyov, a close associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Twice, and it looks like a pattern.So it would appear that Russia wants EU-states that are not in Nato to join Nato.

But why?

I could see a domestic need to keep the contradictions sharpened, but I don't think it is enough to explain the behaviour. After all Putin seems to have the war-leader approval that is unfortunately so common.

If viewed in a new cold war perspective, getting rid of non-Nato but western states means getting rid of negotiators etc from Europe. Perhaps Russia thinks they will be better of if those kinds of roles opens up to more Russia friendly states.

by fjallstrom on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:17:36 PM EST

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