The war in Ukraine proved how difficult it is to regain territory occupied by the enemy. The main goal of the developed Baltic defense line is therefore to change the enemy’s calculations and stop him from attacking, says Susan Lillevali, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Defense of Estonia.
– This line is intended to help defend every inch of territory FOR THIS, at any time – said Susan Lillevali, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Defense of Estonia, during a media briefing. – The main goal of the developed Baltic defense line is to change the enemy’s calculations and stop him from attacking – he adds.
– First of all, we need to find a way to stop Russia’s mechanized troops. If we allow them to cross the border, it will be difficult to stop them from entering deep into our territory, added ministry adviser Lieutenant Colonel Kaido Tiitus.
Estonia wants to build “as many fortifications as possible”
– We know how quickly Russia can rebuild its capabilities, so we need to use the time we have as best as we can, Lillevali noted.
According to the presented plan, the ministry plans to create “as many fortifications as possible” during peacetime, including bunkers, shelters and ammunition depots.
On the Estonian side, 600 bunkers will be built on the border with Russia, each of them will be able to accommodate 10 people and equipment. Their cost – together with “other necessary installations” – was estimated at EUR 60 million, which will be covered by the state defense budget. Construction works will start in January 2025.
The fortifications are to cover a strip of land constituting the border between Estonia and Russia. There are no plans to create physical fortifications on the lakes dividing the countries.
– These lakes provide adequate visibility, so we will know perfectly well what is happening there. However, the army is preparing response scenarios to the possibility of these tanks crossing the border. We are also prepared for such an eventuality, assured Lieutenant Colonel Tiitus.
– However, we do not plan to place any explosives on the Estonian border in peacetime – Lillevali emphasized.
Tallinn creates a reservist unit of officials during the crisis
In turn, the Tallinn city authorities create a reservist unit composed of volunteers working in various city institutions. Its aim will be to support the uniformed services in the capital of Estonia during a possible crisis and ensure the continuity of the authorities’ operations regardless of the circumstances, the BNS news agency reported on Thursday.
– We carry out various activities, from creating shelters and fire protection centers, to planning emergency supplies and conducting training for residents. One of the steps is to create an inter-ministerial reserve composed of employees of municipal institutions, said Tiit Terik, deputy mayor of Tallinn.
The police, emergency services, territorial defense forces (Kaitseliit) and the Red Cross will be responsible for training officials. The training will include “classes in evacuation, first aid and other practical skills.”
Margo Irve, head of Tallinn Police’s crisis preparedness department, called the project “particularly important to ensure continuity of services during the crisis.” – Volunteers will help at evacuation points, crisis centers and response centers to ensure the functioning of local government services and provide assistance to residents – explained Irve.
Main photo source: X/MoD_Estonia Platform