Russia smears Pippi Longstocking author as Nazi in propaganda posters

Russia has launched a poster campaign in Moscow featuring ostensibly pro-Nazi quotes from the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, the film-maker Ingmar Bergman, and the Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad. "We are against Nazism, but they are not," the poster reads.

Russia smears Pippi Longstocking author as Nazi in propaganda posters
The poster was put up at this bus stop outside the Swedish embassy. Photo: Google Maps

Oscar Jonsson, a researcher at the Swedish Defence University, tweeted out a picture of photograph of a Moscow bus stop carrying the propaganda poster, which has the word ‘they’ written in the colours of the Swedish flag. 

Another poster accuses King Gustaf V of being a Nazi. 

Jonsson told The Local he was certain that the posters were genuine, but suspected that they were intended for Swedish consumption, as at least one of them had been placed outside the Swedish Embassy in Moscow. 

“They’re more of a provocation to Sweden than something for the Russian people,” he said. 

Mikael Östlund, communication chief at Sweden’s Psychological Defence Agency, argued the opposite case, that the posters were primarily designed to justify the war in Ukraine to Russia’s own population. 

“Accusing western countries of Nazism is a part of the justification for their own war,” he said. “This is probably directed towards its own population. This has been one of the justifications for the war in Ukraine as well.” 

Others even suggested they might even be a preparation for military action .

“Are there any limits to these guys? Or are they preparing a ‘denazifying’ operation against Sweden as well?” tweeted Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt

The Swedish foreign ministry said it was aware of the posters, but refused to comment. 

“We have no intention of engaging in a public polemic with the Russian organisation ‘Our Victory’, which is reportedly behind these posters,” a spokesperson told TT.  “In Russia, smears about ‘Nazism’ have been used repeatedly against countries and individuals who are critical of Russia’s actions.” 

At a press conference in Germany, Sweden’s prime minister called the campaign “completely unacceptable”. 

“But it is important to say already right now that Sweden could become the target of an influence campaign by foreign powers,” she said. “It’s important that all Swedes, and not least those of you in journalism, recognise that there is a risk that foreign powers will try to influence the Swedish debate climate.” 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Turkey summons Swedish envoy over ‘insulting’ Erdogan TV satire

Turkey on Wednesday summoned the Swedish ambassador after a TV satire called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "a fool" and "grumpy", joked that his farts had caused the Nord Stream bubbles, and depicted him bending over in his underwear.

Turkey summons Swedish envoy over 'insulting' Erdogan TV satire

“The Turkish foreign ministry summoned today the Swedish ambassador to Ankara, Staffan Herrstrom, because of a broadcast on Swedish television (SVT) that contained insulting statements and images against Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” news agency Anadolu said.

In the dressing down, Herrstrom was told that the “impertinent and ugly expression and images” about Erdogan and Turkey were unacceptable. 

On Friday, Kristoffer Ahonen Appelquist, the host of the satire show Svenska Nyheter on Swedish state broadcaster SVT called on the Swedish-Kurdish comic Kadir Meral, who for several minutes ridiculed Erdogan in Kurdish, finishing with what looked like a homophobic slur. 

At the same time Ahonen Appelquist, called Erdogan dåre, Swedish for “a fool”. 

The title of the episode, Vetoturken, or “the veto Turk”, was already offensive, as it use the “X-turken” format often used for racist Swedish meme videos (such as Pizzaturken, Bussturken, etc).  

In the episode, Ahonen Appelquist at first ridicules Erdogan for his campaign theme song, then covers a woman who was imprisoned for calling Erdogan “grumpy” on Twitter, and talks of Turkeys 38,000 political prisoners, and lack of a free press.

He then covered the agreement struck at the Nato Madrid summit, and why allowing Swedish weapons exports to Turkey might mean they are used to wage war on Kurds in northern Syria, and how Erdogan is demanding Sweden send back ordinary Kurdish journalists who he sees as “terrorists”. 

“It’s just ridiculous,” Ahonen Appelquist says. “He doesn’t even like them [the Kurds], and we do! And we use the Kurds for things, like culture and politics and Sommarprat [the Summer broadcasts from celebrities on Swedish radio] and stuff.” 

He then brings on Meral, who joked that the bubbles from Nordstream were from Erdogan farting, calls him “grumpy” (thereby repeating the mild insult which had someone jailed), ridicules him for balding, and then attacks his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Finally, he says, “Erdogan, you think you are a Sultan, but really you are like a Sultan bed from Ikea, which stands on all fours in the bedroom.” 

Then there’s a picture of Erdogan bent over in his underwear. 

“But you know what, in Sweden, we think that that kind of thing is totally OK,” Meral ends. 

You can see the episode (in Swedish) here.