An Estonian Defense League member, photographer Kaupo Kikkas took pictures of his fellow volunteers in response to the portraits of Lithuanians who weep for the mandatory military service their government recently restored.
"Dear Lithuanian Friends, your 14 powerful portraits of men expressing their feelings towards conscription service proved to be really powerful, but perhaps not in a way you envisioned," the project organizers wrote.
"We are both small, freedom-loving nations living in a dangerous neighborhood. It is only our determination, our love of freedom and our way of life, for our home and the dear ones that can uphold the peace and the freedom for us and our children. To this end, it is essential to be ready and determined to defend our freedom."
"We have taken these 16 portraits to support you and say: you do not have to be a gun nut, you do not need to prove your manliness, an assault rifle or a grenade launcher does not have to give you boners. You just have to love freedom!"
On the photos are members of the Estonian Defense League, a voluntary military organization consisting of citizens from all walks of life. "We learn and train to then shed our uniforms and continue our lives as teachers, drivers, lawyers, architects, etc. We believe the best response to the powers feeding on fear and aggression is to be prepared, and then go on with our lives," the authors explained.
See all 16 portraits here.
Editor: M. Oll