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Soviet-era files reveal Swedes' civil war fears

Soviet-era files reveal Swedes' civil war fears

Published: 17 Feb 2011 11:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Feb 2011 11:03 GMT+01:00

"The risk of civil war is palpable" and "The perpatrators of the coup are uncertain and vacillating" were two of the observations made by then-Swedish ambassador in Moscow Örjan Berner in August 1991 in a telex to Sweden's foreign ministry, according to newspaper Expressen on Thursday.

At the time, a coup had been launched in Moscow and then-President Mikhail Gorbachev had been placed under house arrest.

Sweden's foreign ministry has decided to publish the reports ahead of the 10th anniversary of the disestablishment of the Soviet Union on December 26th, 1991. The decision was made by Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to help illustrate a dramatic historical event.

"Later today we will release virtually all of our previously secret reporting on fall of Soviet Union and freedom for Baltics 1990 and 1991," Bildt wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.

About 400 pages of 30 different diplomatic reports from 1990 and 1991 on the Soviet empire's collapse and the restoration of independence in the Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, were released online on Thursday.

Bildt will present parts of the papers at a seminar at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska Institute, UI) on Thursday afternoon, along with three Swedish ambassadors who were active during the years around the Soviet Union's fall, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

Around 1990, Sweden had an embassy in Moscow and a general consulate in St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad. There were also two branch offices in Tallinn, Estonia and Riga, Latvia. Bildt called the material its own "UDleaks," UD being the acronym for utrikesdepartement, or foreign ministry.

A small part of the material will remain secret, including documents containing information that representatives of countries outside the Baltics and Soviet Union had entrusted to Swedish diplomats, to "avoid the risk that unnecessary diplomatic complications arise," the ministry said on Wednesday.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:51 February 17, 2011 by storebrand
Let me quote what I found here: vilnews.com/?p=2823

This is probably insignificant BS, used to wag the tail of a dead dog and an attempt to shift the media focus from the real interesting facts. The facts about several (and currently employed) Swedish government employees, police, secret police and journalists collaborated with former DDR's Stasi organization.

This morning I was following (live) the Swedish Riksdag's discussion about a very particular interpellation (formal request to the government) for the Swedish secret police (SÄPO) to release the names of people who were collaborating with former East Germany's (DDR) Stasi [German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS)] organization.

The origin for this request is the Stasi-research done by Professor Birgitta Almgren who had full access to the SÄPO documents and published some of her research in her book: "Inte bara Stasi. Relationer Sverige-DDR 1949-1990″,

Birgitta Almgren, (ISBN 978-91-7331-253-0, Carlsson, 2009). She is also expected to publish a separate report later this spring on the particulars around the Swedish political involvement with Stasi.

This is extremely interesting to the general public, as many of these people currently have positions within the government, police, secret police (!) and journalists.

However, the Swedish minister of justice Beatrice Ask (Moderate) rejected the request basing it on the Swedish security ideology, stating that we should try to avoid conspiracy theories. Failing to see the irony in her statement, this is exactly what will happen when a longtime politician of the Swedish right wing party is deciding to keep old records of collaboration with a former suppressor state, involving known Swedish personalities, under wraps. This is in strong contrast to what most other European states who were former soviet sympathizers have done. Instead they have tried to clean out the dirt under their rugs and clear their conscience. One cannot help to think that there are more than one dead dog buried in these stories.

In addition this does not rhyme very well with trying to market the Swedish government as being open, liberal, understanding and to value freedom of expression.

00:05 February 18, 2011 by Zala Russe
I'll park it here, as we are not being allowed to comment on the Stockholm bombing etc. Just a note to Sweden observers. Keep a close eye on the (otherwise insignificant) English town of Luton.

This is the epicentre of jihadi activity in the UK. The 7/7 bombings of 2005 on London Transport were co-ordinated through this town. 52 people dead (not including 4 of the suicide bombers) and 700 injured.

Luton is also the home of the Stockholm bomber.

Luton is, in addition, the homebase of the far-right EDL (English Defence League), which has spawned its imitators elsewhere through Scandinavia and Europe. The significant difference between this and other Nationalist groups is that is specifically anti-Muslim. It's co-founder is a Punjabi Sikh.

Luton is a compression chamber for pan-European extremism, of all shades.

Keep Watch!
06:22 February 18, 2011 by UScitizen
@ arbed 12

Boy! You're getting down on the US Department of Justice aren't you? Do you really think they have the power to do things like that in other parts of the world?

Well.................... maybe you're right!

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