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Estonia plans to build 600 bunkers to deter potential Russian aggression

20 Jan, 2024
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Estonia plans to build 600 bunkers to deter potential Russian aggression

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The Estonian government has decided to build a defensive line comprising approximately 600 concrete bunkers to counter potential Russian aggression.

According to Postimees, the defensive line construction will take place along the eastern borders of the country, specifically in the Ida-Viru County region and the southeastern part of Estonia, with some fortifications planned near Lake Chudskoye.

Defense ministers from the Baltic countries, during a meeting in Riga, agreed to establish a similar defensive zone on the eastern border in Latvia and Lithuania. For NATO, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania constitute a single operational zone.

According to Kaido Tiitus, an advisor to the deputy chancellor of the Ministry of Defense, physical defense facilities on the border are necessary to protect Estonia's territory from the first meter in case of need.

"Russia is and will remain the biggest threat to Estonia's security. The war in Ukraine has diminished Russia's offensive capabilities, but according to various assessments, it is ready to restore them within two to three years. We must be prepared and make the cost of attacking Estonia as high as possible for Russia," said Tiitus.

He added that defense facilities are necessary in case of a potential attack to delay the enemy at the border and give allies time to come to the rescue.

The bunkers will protect soldiers from enemy fire and shell fragments. The strength requirement for the constructed bunkers is that they must withstand direct hits from 152mm projectiles.

Each bunker is designed for ten people, with a size of 30-35 square meters. The bunkers are designed to allow a unit to withstand the enemy for an extended period. Additionally, the bunkers are equipped with sleeping quarters.

Estonian Defense Forces will prepare 'dragon's teeth,' barbed wire, and mines, which will be stored near defense lines.

The construction of bunkers requires agreements with landowners and cooperation with local communities. It is expected that the Ministry of Defense will begin communicating with local residents regarding the creation of points in the coming weeks.

The defense department plans to allow landowners to use the bunkers as auxiliary premises after signing a corresponding agreement. The installation of bunkers will begin in the first half of next year.

Each bunker will be assigned a unit responsible for it, but there will be no permanent security in the bunkers. It is expected that the construction of bunkers will cost approximately 60 million euros.

It is worth noting that the capacity of the bunkers exceeds the number of Estonian Land Forces in peacetime. To fully equip such a defense line, mobilization would be necessary.

Therefore, it is most likely that this number of bunkers is being built with the expectation of the contingent of NATO member countries in the Baltic region.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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