Interest in Joining Home Guard Growing ({{commentsTotal}})

Brigadier General Meelis Kiili
Brigadier General Meelis Kiili Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Brigadier general Meelis Kiili, commander of the Defense League, Estonia's voluntary defense organization, said the force's ranks have swelled and older members have become more active.

Speaking on ETV on Saturday, Kiili said the security situation in the world has changed, but added that he sees no direct military threat towards Estonia on the account of its NATO membership. He said membership numbers spike every time people feel their security is under threat.

Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu urged people to join the guard in a speech last week.

Estonia's national defense plan calls for membership of the Defense League to be expanded to 30,000 by 2022, more than double the current 14,000.

An informal online poll conducted by the daily Postimees last weekend yielded over 8,000 responses, with 32 percent saying they would seriously consider joining, 14 percent saying they might do so in the future, and 36 percent saying they would not. Twelve percent said they were already members.