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Why Sweden Gives Up 200 Years of Neutrality and is Stuck in Russophobia – Part 2

publicerad 22 februari 2023
- Gästskribent
Moskva - Foto: Michael Siebert. Licens: CC0 1.0,

HISTORICAL ANALYSIS. This is the second part of the story of how Sweden attained its status of neutrality. The first part ended with how king Gustav IV Adolf was dethroned. We end by rounding up the observations against events of today triggered by the Ukraine conflict.

By Michael Reichel | Part 1

So, in 1810, Sweden stands without a successor to the throne. Sure, the aging former king Karl XIII stepped in place of Gustav VI Adolf. Swedish aristocracy was now tasked to fix the problem (democracy was not yet the thing) and began looking around and then appear set on a French rather than German.

So, they send a courier to France. History is not altogether clear here so I will run with the version that is most entertaining and this is that this courier is a young man named Carl-Otto Mörner and he is apparently not just a simple messenger but has a mind of his own, aside from also being fearless. He checks around, asking if there is anyone in the French aristocracy that fancies becoming king in Sweden?

He finds a certain Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte to be a suitable candidate, being related to Napoleon by marriage and also a talented warrior, it may be that he realizes that the key to longevity is the insight that France may be too small for them both. Carl-Otto manages to convince Jean-Baptiste and Carl-Otto returns home.

Here he begins to, using a modern term, market Jean-Baptiste within the aristocracy. He is instead put in prison for his insubordination. Eventually, it is recognized that the proposed candidate indeed is as attractive as claimed. Jean-Baptiste is accepted and then to makes matters formally in order, adopted by king Karl XIII. The bloodline in the Swedish succession is broken.

Today, this may sound more radical than it really is, it was a means for attaining power to marry tactically within the European aristocracy. Perhaps it also had the purpose of cooling down potential conflicts. Love appears to be secondary.

When thinking of it, extramarital relationships were also littered across history from this period and perhaps it is here where love blossomed (one may hope).

Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte’s new name as king becomes Karl XIV Johan. In practice, he assumes his royal duties already 1811-12 as his adopted father is aging and lacks the stamina to rule. Formally Karl XIV Johan takes to the throne in 1818 until his son Oskar I takes over in 1844.

Let’s just go back and look a little closer to why Bernadotte was selected. His merits from the Napoleon wars credited him in the eyes of the Swedish aristocracy and humiliated Sweden had possible intentions to take back Finland from the Russians.

This was explicitly expressed by Karl XIII Johan[8]. Instead, Jean-Baptiste makes something unexpected, remarkable, and intelligent, he places Sweden in a situation of freedom of alliance. The consequence of this would produce more than 200 years of peace.

Well… there was the unresolved matter of Norway[9] and it sought a resolution of friendship because having them as enemies was not acceptable[10]. He found it by negotiating, in 1814[11], Norway into a union with Sweden.

Perhaps he also saw that it is not so good to have upset brothers at your borders. It appears Sweden’s most sober royalty felt the same as the Russians, peace is key for progress.

Later, as a consequence of events in Russia leading to a revolution, it releases Finland as independent in 1917. Only the following year is Tsar Nikolaj is dethroned in a coup and later his entire family is executed. Most likely by order or sanctioned by Lenin.

We may speculate how Great Britain had a hand in these events surrounding the revolution as they had naval activities in the region against military Russian targets.

Not only had Karl Marx spent time in Britain but also Vladimir Ilitj Lenin. Both invested much time researching the British Museum. What better opportunity for British intelligence to stoke the fire against an old adversary? Little did they then know how the events would play out.

Noteworthy in this context is that Great Britain’s archenemy for more than 200 years was (or is?) Russia. Paradoxically Sweden now has a fully French heir to the throne, the relationship with Britain hence becomes strained and is forced to publicly seize, although informally not so.

Also noteworthy is that the king of Sweden, during the first and second world war, was the fifth in line of the house of Bernadotte, Gustav V (son to Oskar II), was also the last with any political power. He was very active in ensuring Sweden’s neutrality in both said wars.

This came to a pointed event in WWII in the expression of threats of abdication if the social democrat leaders choose wrong in the delicate matter of Germany´s transiting through Sweden for the purpose of attacking Russia.

The situation was complicated by our relation and support to Finland (Finnish winter war 1939-40) whose enemy in the east was the Soviet Union which also the Germans wanted to confront. This too makes an impression in our relationship with Russia. Particularly for those who do not realize the Soviet Union no longer exists.

It can be rewarding to reflect on this conflict’s origin and causality and also in turn effect because this may very well be, in part, an answer to why the Russians fear having enemies at its borders. Much so after Russia became a communist state.

After Finland gained independence in 1917, the now very young Soviet Union held onto Karelia, it was ethnically Finland but denied referendum (voting) for who to belong to. In addition to this, the Soviets persecuted the Karelian population why tensions were high in that region.

During the period between the two wars, Finland made the choice to become neutral which the Soviets accepted and had the effect of cooling down the situation. By the end of 1930s, Finland had made another choice, potentially a mistake, to cooperate with Germany whilst the argument for Karelia´s independence now included the use of arms. Eventually, this escalated to war from 1939 to 1940, the infamous Finnish Winter War (First Soviet-Finnish War).

The key here, in the context of this paper, was not only the many commanders on the Finnish side having distinctly Swedish-sounding names but also the many volunteers from Sweden that joined the Finns in their struggle. The antagonism between Sweden and Russia surely has some merit here, but it wasn’t Russia at that time but the two evils in the shape of the Soviet Union on one side and Hitler on the other. The whole thing ended with the Moscow Peace Treaty in March 1940.

Let’s turn our gaze southwards and wind back time. If Sweden has its fictitious Mother Svea, then Ukraine has its very real founding father in Potemkin. The Russian Grigorij Alexandrovitj Potemkin rose rapidly in popularity in Catherine II:nd court.

By 1773 he had annexed Crimea. He proved to be driven by good values and in the year of 1776, he rose to become a prince in the German-Roman empire and was given the task of ruling Russia’s newly won southern provinces, the part bordering the Black Sea and is now what we refer to as today’s Ukraine. To put matters in perspective, the same year, 1776 is well known to all Americans as this is when they gained their independence from British imperialism.

Curiously, the same year of 1776, Potemkin´s reputation landed him the Swedish (highest) honor of “the order of Angels” then reserved for knights for outstanding achievements. Apparently, Sweden then approved Russia´s rule over what is today Ukraine.

Such things tend to be hastily forgotten when Crimea was re-taken from Ukraine after the USA supported the 2014 Maidan coup détat and then began taking strides toward the west.

Morality, ethics, and neutrality

Perhaps being unconditionally neutral is only theoretical, because we must for our future survival have morals as the foundation for our decisions. What we can choose and so have, is freedom of alliance. Such a nation can be respected by all.

The subject of this paper is to find the history and rationale for stoking hate for Russia. With facts in hand, the map of subversive activities is now no longer obscure but clear. We see, by Kissinger in the 1950s, declared the doctrine of “war by proxy”[12] is now entirely in the open and the weapon of choice to put confusion in the public. The work of the Rand Corp and Trilateral Commission casts further evidence of the path here.

This choice, of neutrality and freedom of alliance, was, as you may recall, established by the Frenchman that became our king and obviously wanted to end wars. Since then, Sweden has enjoyed, more than 200 years of neutrality because neutrality is now deeply rooted in our culture and society.

Thus, we must in the light of the ongoing Ukraine conflict, ask why it was so thoughtlessly sacrificed. Such action is in direct violation of our constitution and laws on the export of arms, the parliament almost unanimously voted to ship arms to Ukraine to be used against the Russians[13].

We have been stoking that fire since then. Did the hate and fear of Russians help members of parliament push the voting “yes” button? I´ll let you make that judgment.

Sweden’s path to NATO has been long and steadfast, the Swedish spy to Russia Stig Wennerström, shared the then (the 1950s) secret that Sweden was a de-facto part of NATO through unofficial military co-op agreements.

The price for all relationships is to give up a part of one’s independence. Individuals give up personal freedom for collective democracy. On a grander scale, European nations have given up national identity and control for dominance under the European Union whose leaders no citizens ever elected.

There are merits (but also risks) to training with friendlies and if we buy their missiles perhaps, they will buy our radars, no? Make no mistake, Sweden has gathered intelligence from the east and shared it with the west since long before the last major war.

After all, our relationship with Britain does go way back and old habits die hard. Leaking classified information has, in peacetime, a cooling effect as it reduces speculation that otherwise could heat matters up.

Generally, this worked both ways and eventually the cold war thawed. But there are recent and worrying exceptions. Bush and Blair were not happy with information (rather a lack of it) about WMDs coming out of Iraq and decided to make it up in order to get support to pull triggers.

So now we have learned what ethical transgressions they are prepared to go. This time, with the Ukraine matter, the vast majority in US and EU have been led in the same manner. The product of this is prolonged suffering and death based on entirely false propaganda.

The point to be made here is that it is, with what we know of the intentions and behavior of the ones at fault, we should not join any alliance but stand by our neutrality even more steadfastly. But we did not do this, but the contrary, and in doing so we may draw fire upon ourselves while the one pulling the strings, in the puppet we have become, are at safe distance.

Those who think the conflict in Ukraine is between them and Russia will not be able to comprehend what history can teach us and what propaganda is trying to make us not see.

Ironically, it may be that Turkey is a very powerful NATO member, saving the day. It is even conceivable that Putin is acting through Turkey. If so, this is a very clever way of disarming a volatile situation. Turkey is using their veto to force Sweden to release more than 70 individuals they classify as terrorists.

The worry here is that Sweden’s morality of course has a price and we may see that a few citizens is cheap. In fact, if NATO had morality they could, of course, not accept Sweden´s application when a nation is so unloyal to its own. What are the odds of this to happen?

“The people of Sweden are doomed to realize that their prosperity is sacrificed on the altar of false solidarity” – Former minister of justice Torsten Nothin, 1955

Lines of conflict

After both world wars, the victors began to split the territories affected between themselves. We know today that these hastily drawn straight lines cut right through cultures and tightly knit ethnic regions with the effect of separating peoples that had common roots since ancient times.

Consequences did not take long and are still reverberating with needless conflicts, outright wars, and misery. Even though the methodology is different, armed conflicts are used. After all, the military-industrial complex cannot produce profits for its shareholders unless its produce is consumed.

If Sweden shall retain its status as Kingdom, in my opinion, it should for a reason soon to be revealed, it shall strengthen its role not only for sake of retaining our cultural inheritance including that what Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte established as king Karl XIV Johan.

Moreover, royalty should become the guardians of this legacy but also of the ethical values that tend to fall into the shadows of current globalism’s destruction of humanism and our national identity.

Summing it up, what observations can be made?

  • Recurring is the underestimation of Russia’s military capability, tactics, and motives. Sounds familiar?
  • We tend to criticize the Russians to have imperialistic intentions without reflecting on Sweden’s own legacy. Who are we to judge?
  • Can we see current behavior shaped by the past? Or is it old dusted-off prejudices used for discrete subversive activities?
  • Great Britain appears to have longstanding historical issues with Russia and they have acted indirectly and subversively. Currently, the spotlight of the NordStream sabotage is on them. What is their problem?
  • Ukraine sat already in the spring of 2022 at peace negotiations with Russia in Turkey but Britain (Boris Johnson) forbade Zelensky to sign it. How so?
  • Sweden’s King Gustav IV Adolf was perhaps not a competent warrior but clearly talented and had command over both Latin and Finnish along with clear values and empathy. During peacetime, this trait would be an advantage, during the Napoleonic wars they were a weakness.
  • Similarities between Napoleon and Hitler are obvious in both strategic and tactical actions, as are the reasons for their failures. But why does Sweden hail its imperialistic and war-mongering king Karl XII? What values are acting here?
  • Sweden has historically had a close and informal relationship to Great Britain, not least during WWII. Is the British aversion to the Russians contagious?
  • History signals clearly that Russia does not accept hostile nations at its borders. They also invoked the UN´s Article 51[14] before the action in Ukraine and after the west failed to fulfill the two Minsk agreements.
  • With some speculative certainty, Great Britain had a hand in the game to set in place new leaders in the Russian Revolution. Were they actually part in creating the Soviet Union and did they misjudge the real plans of the communist ideology they supported?[15]
  • Is there a folk soul in Sweden still feeling violated by the Russians? Is there a wish for revenge or is it just a tool used in social engineering?
  • Russia was encouraged by Napoleon to go to war against Sweden. In today’s terms, we use “war by proxy” is a strategy established in the 50´in the USA by Henry Kissinger and Herman Kahn.
  • The rise of the people as manifested in the French Revolution, Russian Revolution, and if we wind forward to the 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine, appears to have poorly disguised players. If we introduce the USA into the equation of subversive activities since WWII, a pattern emerges.
  • King Gustav IV Adolf overestimated Sweden´s military capabilities in general and against the Russians in particular and was forced to fight on more than one front simultaneously
  • One reason for Sweden enacting neutrality in the world wars may have been the poor military capability[16], allowing only weeks of defense. A concern is if aggressivity will increase with access to NATO powers.
  • Sweden has been training Ukraine’s armed forces for many years. Even the now-obliterated neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Given the very limited military success of Ukraine, what does this have to say about Swedish military know-how? The same argument applies to US/NATO/EU.
  • Napoleon took advantage and rose to power when France was in crisis, and Hitler did something similar with his already beaten and violated nation with the promise of the glory of a Third Reich. To put nations in crisis is a textbook maneuver for those with subversive agendas in order to make the people compliant. Rings a bell?
  • During the Soviet period, Ukraine is given certain independence along with other territories. It is simply not possible to manage such vast land and cultural diversity centrally. When the USSR collapsed, many states were free to go their own way without taking in ethical and cultural belonging. Same mistake as was done by the west to Africa post-WWII.
  • According to official Swedish military sources, Russia does not have the military capacity to invade Sweden by sea. But they can hurt us in so many other ways with great ease[17]. So why are the Swedish authorities and media inflating the threat level from Russia? Could it be related to the NATO application and denial of a proper referendum on continued neutrality and freedom from the alliance?
  • When confronted why no NATO referendum? The Swedish prime minister said the people were not competent to make this decision. Is this democracy?
  • The west (EU with US/NATO) is on the path to repeating mistakes made by Karl XII, Napoleon, and Hitler and actually believes they can exterminate Russia without first realizing, from the start, who has had the upper hand.
  • The wiser neutral country in Europe Switzerland has denied selling ammunition for use in Ukraine.
  • The European Union leadership publicly announces that the Minsk Agreements were only made in order to build up Ukraine’s military power. Which the EU, US/NATO has done. Who´s got blood on their hands?
  • RAND Corp, the think tank, has without remorse proposed how to challenge and provoke Russia. One such suggestion is to use both Finland and Sweden by making them members of NATO.
  • If peace is the honest motive, perhaps it is about time to listen to the Russians and respect them when they say they do not want a hostile neighbor. How about a cost-benefit analysis to help make that decision?

End note

Most belligerent nations have learned the hard way that it does not work too well to take territories by force and expect that the people will be submissive, it is simply not sustainable. It ought to lead to the search for our understanding of the people of Donbas in eastern Ukraine as to where they come from and belong. They already made this very clear.

This retrospect gives that history teaches us the same thing, over and over again. You know what they say about repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result, don’t you? Why are we not questioning our supposed leader’s sanity?

With such insights, those who seek real answers are also forced to investigate what actually is going on in Ukraine and in which direction danger has been moving since the Maidan coup d’état in 2014 and who are the real drivers. An excellent point of start for this search is, to begin with, the Minsk agreements. These three-party agreements are between Ukraine, Russia, and the EU, the latter was represented by the OSCE. Here you will find excellent documentation that can cast a light on a broader perspective of the propaganda from European media and authorities.

By Michael Reichel

[1] Not strictly a constitution but four groups of laws


[3] Originally from the 1938 play and later 1944 movie with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer

[4] Paradoxically Hitler got the definition of Aryan wrong, or decided to change history too, it has origins in Indo-Iran.

[5] During the Soviet era (1954), Khrushchev ”gave” Crimea to Ukraine as a goodwill gesture for being merged with Tsarist Russia some 300 years earlier.



[8] Also by noblemen Adlercreutz, Skoldebrand, and several others.

[9] Sweden was given Norway as compensation for the loss of Finland as a peace offering by the now-new alliance (formed to oppose Napoleon) made up of Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia.

[10] Apparently, Sweden felt the same as Russia did when Ukraine was moving westwards

[11] This is a separate historical event involving Denmark

[12] Korea, Vietnam (incl. Cambodia and Laos), Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Invasion of Grenada, Invasion of Panama, Gulf war, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo (Serbia), Haiti, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Uganda, Syria, etc.

[13] 10.000 AT-4s, some of which have found their way to the black market

[14] Right to self-defense

[15] Uncanny likeness to the USA´s modus operandi of subversive operations since WWII

[16] Papier mache´ tanks in WWII and 90`s disarmament and ceasing of conscription

[17] Sweden´s quite recent and controversial procurement of an outdated Patriot missiles protection system is beaten by Russian technology.

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