Ministry chief: Russia aims to install pro-Kremlin government in Kyiv

Defense Ministry Secretary General Kusti Salm.
Defense Ministry Secretary General Kusti Salm. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Russia's military action in Ukraine has the political goal of installing a pro-Kremlin government in Kyiv, Ministry of Defense Secretary General Kusti Salm says.

Speaking to ETV morning show "Terevisioon" Friday, Salm said: "It would be rational to think that Russia wants to achieve political success, changing the government into a pro-Russian one."

At the same time, this was not a foregone conclusion, he said.

"It is hard to imagine. There are no signs of a weakening of Ukraine's will to defend itself; on the contrary," in fact, Salm went on.

Salm also noted that the invasion was full-scale war and not any kind of localized operation.

"This is a full-scale war, the first in Europe since World War II, and not an operation," Salm added.

Salm also noted that Javelin anti-tank missiles which Estonian supplied to Ukraine recently were of the same kind which had struck around 15 Russian tanks, according to reports.

"There were reports yesterday that 15 Russian tanks had been hit by Javelin missiles. That is why we bought Javelins, to destroy tanks," Salm added.

The course of the offensive so far has been no big surprise, and the tactics – of attacking defensive targets such as radar and airfields, primarily with missiles, was a know one.

Conquering airfields was also a key objective for Russia, he said, adding large numbers of Russian Federation planes and helicopters had reportedly touched down on Ukrainian territory.

The international support which has been expressed via political messages, statements of solidarity and mass demonstrations, including in Estonia, had not discouraged Russia in its course, Salm added, but it does send a message to the Russian populace.

Large demonstrations protesting the war have also been taking place in major cities in Russia itself.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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