Estonian defense official: Security situation in Europe a 'climate change' ({{commentsTotal}})

An Ukrainian AN-30B flying above tense clouds. Source: Photo: Courtesy of OSCE

The history didn't end two decades ago, Estonia's undersecretary of defense Sven Sakkov told Newsweek magazine.

The report by the international publication is entitled "Tiny Baltic states prepare to hit back at mighty Russia“, and interviewed defense officials from all three Baltic states.

“We Estonians didn’t think that the history ended two decades ago”, said Sven Sakkov, Estonia’s undersecretary of defense. "The 2008 war in Georgia was a wake-up call, but most of Europe hit the snooze button.”

Calling the current situation in Europe a “climate change, not a case of bad weather”, Sakkov added that Estonia had already responded to the Russian threat by fast-tracking military procurement and asking NATO to permanently base both troops and equipment in its soil.

Newsweek said that ordinary Estonians are responding to the situation, as well, with the number of new recruits to the voluntary Defense League doubling this year, compared to last year. The Defense League now has 14,545 part-time soldiers, equalling 1 percent of the country’s population.

“If Estonia is attacked, we’ll fight like hell”, Sakkov said. “The lessons we’ve learned from 1939 and 1940 are that you have to fight whatever the odds, that you need allies, and that you have to be a ­democracy.”

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