Sweden Finds Intelligent Life in Russia
Translated and republished with permission from the Swedish newspaper Norrtelje Dagsbladet, Saturday edition, April 1, 2017.
The Swedish Ministry of Information Affairs has released the surprising results of a decade-long study on Russia. The findings shatter long-held preconceptions in Sweden about Russia and the Russian people. The study may have global implications.
“Against all odds, Swedish researchers have uncovered intelligent life in Russia,” said Henrik-Åke Magnusson, who directed and funded the study on behalf of the Swedish Ministry of Information and Press. “It was unexpected and buried under layers of disinformation, but it was there in isolated pockets in the far northern regions of Siberia and in former Finnish areas north of St. Petersburg.”
Ten years ago, the Swedish Parliament approved the unorthodox research project in the wake of mounting evidence on the Internet of Russian truck accidents, weird encounters with aliens, and numerous crazy stunts seen in countless Youtube videos. Many of the videos documented life threatening and unintelligent acts by those being filmed. While most Swedes, based on the widely available visual evidence, conclude that Russians are lacking in basic intelligence, this view was found to be invalid.
A Ten-Year Research Project
The ten-year research project was unexpectedly challenging. Russian disinformation, state secrets, and CIA meddling in the form of masked American operations, known as false flag events, resulted in confusion about the data and resulting findings. CIA-funded false flag operations were the most challenging aspect of the research, as they uniformly portrayed Russia as a greater threat and ascribed more intelligence to Russian decision-makers than was actually measured to be the case.
The research team could not specify the exact reason why the CIA might do this, but ventured a hypothesis. “Perhaps it is to justify increasing defense budgets, a natural result of falsely building up the picture of a more dangerous Russian threat than what might actually exist,” ventured Åsa Karlsson, an assistant research and doctoral candidate from Lund University who was involved in the project.
Ultimately, however, the Swedish research team was able to paint a more accurate picture of Russian intelligence when they discovered a single factor that separated valid from invalid data.
“It was the presence of vodka,” said Dr. Beatrice Svensson, PhD, who headed up the in-country survey group. “When we stayed in the countryside, away from Moscow, naturally we had less filtered results. Moreover, in person, you can recognize things that otherwise might be missed when conducting research just based on videos, official reports, and news analysis. Where we observed first hand that vodka was employed, the number of crazy events multiplied, as did the filming of the events by drunken bystanders, who were seen to rarely intervene or question the actions, even while documenting them for posting on Youtube. This is a curious phenomenon.”
With careful statistical analysis, Dr. Svensson’s team was able to isolate and discount the so-called “Vodka-Effekt” from the results. Though this eliminated 99.23% of the observed data reflecting unintelligent acts on the part of the Russian people, the remaining observed sample size was still sufficient to uncover an important conclusion — “There’s a ****-load of drinking going on over there,” said Dr. Svensson, summarizing one aspect of the findings.
The findings were that Russians, when not drinking, can in fact be very intelligent. Such events, however, are rarely viewed in the wild. “By interviewing Russian criminals in jails, where less vodka is available to those incarcerated, we were able to validate the data and basic findings of the study,” Dr. Svensson noted.
Military Implications for Sweden
The Swedish Ministry of Defense was quick to welcome the findings and supported them overall, noted Col. Jörgen Borglan. “For a long time, Swedes have felt threatened by Russia’s unwelcome and aggressive military posture. However, there was always a lingering uncertainty that maybe Russia’s submarine fleets were just accidentally straying into Swedish waters due to the inability of their navigators to hold to internationally approved sea lanes, and this was supported by official statements from Moscow,” said Magnusson. “Now, with these study results, we know that it isn’t always true — there is intelligent life in Russia after all. Therefore, Moscow must be held accountable for its actions.”
The Ministry was quick to condemn Russia’s long term practice of providing drunk soldiers with unfettered access to nuclear weapons. “This practice remains destabilizing,” Col. Borglan stated. “It must be stopped and the Russian military should be put under UN supervision. Until this happens, however, we have to budget more money for the rebuilding of Sweden’s national defense forces. Further, we will be issuing a recommendation that Russia institute an alcohol monopoly store, as we have in Sweden, which we call Systembolaget.”
Based on the results of this study, the next time a flight of Russian MiGs makes a run at the Swedish border, the Government in Stockholm can feel justified in lodging a protest. The pilots, despite being Russian, are probably intelligent enough to know what they are doing.
“We can surmise from the flight characteristics of their aircraft that they haven’t been drinking,” said Henrik-Åke Magnusson. “That presents both relief and raises a different problem for Swedish national defense, however.”
Despite the statements of the Swedish Ministry of Defense, the study’s authors were themselves reluctant to extend the findings to Russian submarines sighted in Swedish waters. “When spotted, Russian submarines often dive to the sea floor and hide; it is impossible to know, however, if this behavior is military in nature or something more akin to simply resting on the seabed and ‘sleeping it off’,” noted Dr. Svensson.
The next task for the research team will be to visit in the summer the Siberian town of Sivaya Maska (Сивая Маска), which showed an abnormally high level of intelligence among its citizens. “We will have to work fast because in Siberia, the summer season is just two weeks long and we don’t want to be trapped up there and have to winter over. Perhaps we will uncover the reasons in the water that the town takes from the nearby Usa River. Alternatively, perhaps this is the effect of the natural, untouched surroundings of forests, wildflowers, and grasslands that are prevalent in that region,” said Dr. Svensson, “but at this point we just don’t know.”