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SABATON's Public Education Award May Be Revoked Over Comments About Crimea

The Swedish Skeptics Association wasn't aware of the comments.


The Swedish Skeptics Association (Vetenskap Och Folkbildning) may revoke Sabaton's Årets Folkbildare 2022 (Public Educator Of The Year) award due to comments made by bassist Pär Sundström about Crimea.

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According to news outlet Dagens Nyheter, this all started a few days ago when Sabaton's song "Carolus Rex" was removed from a Spotify playlist meant to represent Sweden and Swedish music as the country took over presidency of the European Union (EU). The reason was Sabaton's 2015 performance in the Crimean Peninsula, right after Russia illegally annexed the area. Dagens Nyheter also points out the show was "organized by the Russian biker gang Nattvargarna, who are close to Vladimir Putin."

In a 2015 interview, Sundström commented that Sabaton was there to "play for fans, regardless of where they are. We were there to spread our music, as we always do." When asked now how he feels about the comments, Sundström added "We do what we do, we sing about history and we play heavy metal. I know people want to politicize us, but we don't actively want to do that."

Dagens Nyheter also references a 2016 interview with Sweden Rock Magazine where Sundström said he visited the Crimean city of Sevastopol and that "you hardly feel that they feel occupied, but the opposite."

Sundström has since responded, saying "My quote was how I experienced the situation there and then on site and the impressions I took home with me. That someone invades or occupies another country is against international law, which I think should apply instead of someone resorting to armed conflict as has now happened in Ukraine. Our catalog of songs is proof that there has been enough fighting."

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The Swedish Skeptics Association is currently debating the revocation of the award.

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