More than 300 people protested publicly against the expansion of an Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) military training area in South Estonia on Friday.
The protesters formed a human chain (pictured) along the side of the Võru-Valga highway, close to the Lükka forest brothers' memorial, Võru County, and on the southeastern edge of the planned expansion zone.
The enlargement will roughly triple the size of the current EDF training area at Nursiplau to around 9,000ha, and has been the subject of strong pushback from local residents concerned about noise pollution, damage to the environment and other side-effects.
More than 20 householders within the planned expansion zone itself will be subject to a forced sale of their properties, and are reportedly to be offered compensation in the form of a like-for-like land swap elsewhere in Estonia.
The Nursipalu ground is the EDF 2nd Infantry Brigade's equivalent of the 1st Brigade's Central Training Area in Harju County. The 2nd Brigade, South Estonia-based, is in the process of becoming fully mechanized, while the changed security situation and the need to accommodate NATO allies has prompted the enlargement.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'