Swedish Minister of Energy and Digital Development Minister Anders Ygeman has accused Russia of “destabilising the Swedish 5G debate” and targeting him in a Facebook attack. However, Swedish national broadcaster SVT found no foreign clues, as the over 2,000-comment long thread turned out to have been originated by an “ordinary Swedish grandmother”.
Earlier this year, Anders Ygeman said that every time he mentions 5G on social media he is attacked by hundreds of 5G-negative comments. He suggested that “Russian interests” were behind the attacks.
“There is a Russian competition political interest in disrupting and hindering other countries’ development of 5G”, Ygeman ventured. “Obviously those comments can generate concern for ordinary Swedes. That must be the purpose of them”, Ygeman said.
While Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s leading dailies, ran an article called “Ygeman targeted in Russian attack”, Ygeman’s allegations were dismissed by the Russian Embassy as paranoia.
“Our special congratulations go to Anders Ygeman. As we have learned, the popularity of his Facebook page has increased dramatically which we wholeheartedly congratulate him on!” the Russian Embassy wrote, adding that Russia would like to cooperate, but not with ministers “who suffer from paranoia in search of ‘Russian trolls’”.
The recent research by SVT gave the Russian Embassy some merit. According to the research, the numerous replies were largely organised by a Swedish group against 5G founded by 64-year-old Katarina Hollbrink, who lives in Södermalm, Stockholm and describes herself as an “ordinary Swedish grandmother who is worried about radiation”. The minister’s statement left her deeply surprised.