Russia has ramped up its propaganda campaign against Sweden after the Nordic nation reportedly prepares to join Nato.
Posters have been spotted on bus stations across Moscow featuring the faces of Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren and film-maker Ingmar Bergman, accusing them of being Nazi supporters.
Stating in capital letters ‘We are against Nazis, they are not’, the disturbing content also popped up outside the Swedish Embassy in the capital. Another poster paints Sweden’s King Gustaf V as a Nazi.
Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, called the campaign ‘completely unacceptable’, the Daily Mail reported.
Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt also took to Twitter to slam the ‘publicity campaign’.
He said: ‘Are there any limits to these guys? Or are they preparing a “denazifying” operation against Sweden as well?
‘I think this will further solidify support for Sweden joining Nato.’
Oscar Jonsson, a researcher at the Swedish Defence University, also tweeted a picture of the posters, adding it was ‘the latest plot twist for Moscow’.
He told The Local he was certain the posters were genuine, but suspected they were targeting Swedes living in Russia.
‘They are more of a provocation to Sweden than something for the Russian people,’ Mr Jonsson said.
Counter ads have appeared outside the Russian Embassy in Stockholm with text in the Russian alphabet.
At the bottom it says: ‘Dear checkists (sic) and other employees at the Russian embassy.
‘Is it hard for you to go to work? Do you feel ashamed at the end of the day? It may soon be too late to defect. Contact us for a consultation on political asylum. Coffee on us!’
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both Finland and Sweden have considered entering the Nato military alliance, in a major policy shift.
Leaders in Stockholm have made up their minds, according to local media reports, and will make the move in the coming months.
Prime minister Magdalena Andersson and other party leaders have decided their ‘goal is for Sweden to join Nato in June this year’, the SVD reported.
Western leaders have already voiced their support, with German chancellor Olaf Scholz saying both countries ‘can count’ on his support.
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