Swedish Language Blog

Sweden’s Response to the Crisis in Ukraine Posted by on Mar 11, 2022 in News

Photo by Tina Hartung on Unsplash

The world’s attention has been focused on Ukraine since the Russian invasion two weeks ago, and Sweden is no exception. This week’s blog will summarize what Sweden’s response to the crisis has been (with links to articles where you can read more) as well as highlight two specific articles to provide you with useful vocabulary for reading Swedish news covering the war. 


Vad gör Sveriges regering? / What is Sweden’s government doing? 

Sweden has responded very quickly to the crisis in Ukraine, and on several fronts. The Swedish government quickly authorized sending monetary aid to both Ukraine’s military defense and to humanitarian organizations. More unusually for Sweden, the government also decided to send military vapen och utrustning (weapons and equipment) to Ukraine. This decision marks the first time Sweden has sent weapons to a country at war since 1939 when they sent weapons to Finland which had been attacked by the Soviet Union. 

Both statsministern (the prime minister) Magdalena Andersson and Kung Carl Gustaf have held speeches to the Swedish public in recent weeks. Andersson emphasized that the threat to Sweden, and all of the EU, has now increased and that Sweden’s defense would receive more funding, noting “Vi svenskar ska försvara vår demokrati” (We Swedes will defend our democracy). It’s quite unusual for a Swedish prime minister to hold a speech directly to the nation, and happens only in extreme situations. It has only occurred four other times in history, with two of those times occurring during the pandemic. 

Currently, there is also a debate going on in the government and amongst the public about whether or not Sweden should join the military alliance, NATO (Norway and Denmark are members, but Sweden and Finland are not). As of now, Andersson continues to reject the idea at this time as it would “ytterligare destabilisera den här delen av Europa (further destabilize this part of Europe). 


Vad gör svenska folket? / What are the Swedish people doing?

In addition to the government response, the Swedish public has been mobilizing to assist Ukraine. Unicef Sverige received over 23 million kronor in donations over the course of just one week. Svenska Röda Korset, Radiohjälpen and SOS Barnbyar are other humanitarian organizations who have received millions of kronor to support Ukraine in recent weeks. Many Swedes are also collecting donations of necessities such as clothes, blankets, medicine, and more to send to Ukraine. 

There has also been a record number of nearly 10,000 applications to join hemvärnet (Sweden’s National Guard) since the war started. Typically, they receive only about 5,000 applications for the entire year. One recent applicant who was interviewed about his decision said he chose to join because although he has no prior military experience, he wanted to be able to contribute something to society. 


Hjälpsamma ord och fraser / Helpful vocabulary

8sidor recently published an article called Många vill hjälpa Ukraina. Let’s take a look at some of the sentences and learn some key vocabulary. 

Kriget i Ukraina har gjort att det är stor brist (lack) på saker som människor behöver för att leva.”

Vi arbetar … för att hjälpa barn med rent vatten, mediciner, sjukvård, kläder och mat. (clean water, medicine, healthcare, clothes and food)”

Sammanlagt har människor i Sverige skänkt (have donated) över 100 miljoner kronor till organisationer som hjälper människor i Ukraina.”

Det finns också olika insamlingar (collections) av kläder, filtar och leksaker i Sverige.


A piece from Radio Sweden på lätt svenska entitled Första gången som flyktingar får skydd i hela EU discusses a recent EU decision about refugees from Ukraine. 

För första gången någonsin får flyktingar (refugees) stanna i EU i ett år.” 

Det gäller (applies to) de personer som flyr (are fleeing) från kriget (the war) i Ukraina.” 

Skyddet (the protection/refuge) kan också förlängas upp till tre år.

Kommunerna i Sverige har börjat arbeta med att kunna ta emot (to be able to accept) många flyktingar från Ukraina.”

Många ukrainare (Ukrainians) som bor i Sverige försöker hjälpa sina släktingar.

Other useful vocab:

Ukraina Ukraine
Ryssland Russia
att attackera to attack
Förenta Nationerna (FN) United Nations (UN)
sanktioner sanctions
försvar defense
säkerhet  security
civil befolkningen civilian population
Tags: , ,
Keep learning Swedish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Liz S

Liz is a Swedish language instructor living in Minnesota, USA. She has degrees in Scandinavian Studies (B.A.) and Second Language Education (M.A.) from the University of Minnesota and has taught English and Swedish to students of all ages in the US and abroad. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, learning Polish and finding ways to make the Minnesota winter more mysig (cozy)!


  1. Ljungberg:

    Thank You Sweden!