Russia has labeled countries criticizing it as “Nazis,” Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, pointing to a Russian campaign which has singled out several people including the founder of furniture company IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, for their alleged Nazi attitudes.
Russia launched the poster campaign In Moscow featuring ostensibly pro-Nazi quotes from Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and Kamprad. “We are against Nazism, but they are not,” the poster reads.
“We have no intention of engaging in a public polemic with the Russian organization ‘Our Victory,’ which is reportedly behind these posters,” said a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry.
“In Russia, smears about ‘Nazism’ have been used repeatedly against countries and individuals who are critical of Russia’s actions,” it added.
The move comes as Sweden prepares for NATO accession in light of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“I was a Nazi! I admired Hitler!” said posters in Russia, using Kamprad’s memoirs.
Kampard was a Nazi sympathizer during the war but later described this as the “greatest mistake of my life.”
At least 3,193 civilians have been killed and 3,353 others injured in Ukraine since the war with Russia began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.
More than 5.5 million people have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced, data from the UN refugee agency shows.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar
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