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A Syrian refugee has coffee and cake in Sweden.
A Syrian refugee has coffee and cake in Sweden.

Swedengate Was a Lesson in How Easily Misinformation Spreads

One person’s anecdote became a false lesson in national character.

A man wears a QAnon shirt while boarding a shuttle bus.
A man wears a QAnon shirt while boarding a shuttle bus.

Americans, Like Swedes, Need Help Telling Fact From Fiction

A botched disinformation board shouldn’t be the end of efforts to educate the public.

Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.
Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.

What Are Sweden and Finland Thinking?

European leaders have reassessed Russia’s intentions and are balancing against the threat that Putin poses to the territorial status quo. 

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson address a news conference in Stockholm on May 16.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson address a news conference in Stockholm on May 16.

NATO Countries Begin Ushering Finland and Sweden Into the Fold

The U.K. and several Nordic countries have offered security guarantees to what could be NATO’s newest members.

Finnish Prime Minister of Sanna Marin (left) and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
Finnish Prime Minister of Sanna Marin (left) and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson

The NATO Accession Sweden Never Saw Coming

Finland has taken the lead, but its famously skeptical neighbor is following.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) meets with a delegation including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) on April 24 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) meets with a delegation including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) on April 24 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Is Weakening Russia a Bad Idea?

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments raise questions about Washington’s endgame in Ukraine.

NATO meeting in Brussels.
NATO meeting in Brussels.

‘Thanks, Putin’: Finnish and Swedish Lawmakers Aim for NATO Membership

Politicians who have long called for Finland and Sweden to join NATO seem poised to finally get their wish.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, speak to the media in Helsinki on March 5.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, speak to the media in Helsinki on March 5.

How Finland Could Tilt the Balance Against Putin

Helsinki joining NATO is his worst nightmare—apart from losing Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg looks on as Finland Ministers for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (L) and Sweden Foreign minister Ann Linde (R) bump fists after holding a joint press conference after their meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24, 2022.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg looks on as Finland Ministers for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (L) and Sweden Foreign minister Ann Linde (R) bump fists after holding a joint press conference after their meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24, 2022.

Russia Is Driving Sweden and Finland Closer to NATO

Moscow’s aggression may have permanently changed Nordic security debates.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Finland and Sweden Are Done With Deference to Russia

Even if the two Nordic countries don’t join NATO, they have signaled a new era in relations with Moscow.

Migrants sit by a fire near the Belarusian-Polish border.
Migrants sit by a fire near the Belarusian-Polish border.

Even Sweden Doesn’t Want Migrants Anymore

Sweden’s generous response to the 2015 refugee crisis may have permanently dented its moral worldview.

Frances Pugh in 2019's Midsommar.
Frances Pugh in 2019's Midsommar.

Scandinavia’s Horror Renaissance and the Global Appeal of ‘Fakelore’

“Midsommar” and “The Ritual” are steeped in Scandinavian folklore. Or are they?

A glacier sits above a stream running past cabins in Norway.
A glacier sits above a stream running past cabins in Norway.

Nordic Countries Aren’t Actually Socialist

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden shouldn’t be held up as socialist utopias.

Workers raise a giant Ericsson signboard on top of a building in Beijing on Nov. 25, 1997.
Workers raise a giant Ericsson signboard on top of a building in Beijing on Nov. 25, 1997.

How China Took Western Tech Firms Hostage

And what the United States and Europe can do about it.

A sign instructing people to wash their hands—featuring a portrait of chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the face of the Sweden’s response to the pandemic—hangs at an entrance to a restaurant in Stockholm on May 10. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images
A sign instructing people to wash their hands—featuring a portrait of chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the face of the Sweden’s response to the pandemic—hangs at an entrance to a restaurant in Stockholm on May 10. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

The Inside Story of How Sweden Botched Its Coronavirus Response

Stockholm denies pursuing herd immunity. But internal emails show Swedish officials were resigned to mass infections all along.

A near-empty square in Stockholm
A near-empty square in Stockholm

Our Top Weekend Reads

Swedes can’t figure out their government’s coronavirus approach, a progressive push on U.S. foreign policy, and an honest assessment of the Arab Spring’s fallout.

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment in a tent at the Sophiahemmet private hospital performs tests on a patient to look for symptoms of COVID-19 in Stockholm on April 22.
A nurse wearing personal protective equipment in a tent at the Sophiahemmet private hospital performs tests on a patient to look for symptoms of COVID-19 in Stockholm on April 22.

Sweden’s Second Wave Is a Failure of Government—and Guidance

The country’s contrarian approach to the COVID-19 pandemic was meant to prove that trust in authorities could avert lockdowns. Instead, mixed messaging and political squabbles have led to an exploding epidemic.

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