The Estonian government on Thursday greenlit the latest in a series of military aid packages to Ukraine, this time with a value of €494,300 and including sniper weapons and special forces gear, among other things.
The latest package, proposed by Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform), will include semi-automatic rifles, sniper rifles, sights, binoculars, ammunition, personal and special forces gear, patrol boats as well as thermal imaging cameras. The state will be donating medical supplies as well.
The donation of this equipment will not negatively impact the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) training or wartime capabilities.
"Yesterday we discussed the state of Ukraine aid together with allies in the Ramstein format, and it's clear that there's no time to waste in supporting Ukraine," Pevkur said.
"Our major initiative is directed at a joint EU procurement of one million rounds of artillery ammunition, but we must continue with smaller, precisely targeted aid packages as well," he continued. "Hence our decision to focus this aid package, as a continuation of the previous one, on special forces equipment and snipers specifically."
#DefMin @HPevkur at #UDCG meeting: we need to increase support to #Ukraine. gives 3rd military hospital, in cooperation with & + new #SOF package. But we also need joint procurement of 1️⃣ million rounds of artillery ammunition to help win. #StandWithUkraine #UDCG pic.twitter.com/4AFqWbAjpU— MoD Estonia (@MoD_Estonia) March 15, 2023
To date, Estonia has provided nearly €400 million worth of military aid to Ukraine, equal to more than 1 percent GDP.
Previous donations have included Javelin anti-tank missiles, howitzers, anti-tank mines, anti-tank grenade launchers, mortars, vehicles, communications gear, medical supplies, personal protective equipment such as helmets as well as dehydrated meals.
Estonia has also previously donated two field hospitals and medical supplies worth nearly €15 million together with Germany, and is donating a third in cooperation with the Netherlands and Norway, who supported the project with €7.8 million.
The Ministry of Defense is applying for funds from the European Peace Facility (EPF) for the replacement of its own military equipment; to date, Estonia is slated to be compensated at least €156 million.
Defense League sending second sauna complex
The volunteer Estonian Defense League also announced that a second custom-built mobile sauna, shower and laundry complex will be dispatched from Tartu to the front in Ukraine on Friday by MTÜ Saunad Ukrainasse, the nonprofit behind the Estonian-launched Saunas for Ukraine initiative.
The complex has the capacity to provide 50-60 fighters with a chance to take sauna and shower as well as wash and dry 50 uniforms a day.
The project took off last fall, sparked by the need to alleviate harsh conditions on the front as winter approached, and the first sauna complex was delivered to its recipient unit in Ukraine late last December.
The nonprofit's goal is to plan, build and deliver a total of ten sauna complexes capable of serving at least 5,000 fighters a month to units in Ukraine, with each complex planned in cooperation with its recipient battalion in order to take its unique needs into account.
The complex hitting the road Friday is destined for the Crimean Tatar Volunteer Battalion, upon whose request it consists of two containers that can be hitched to one another and transported by one vehicle. Such a setup will allow the unit to react more rapidly and redeploy more efficiently.
Responsible for the technical solution of each complex is HUUM OÜ, one of the leaders of the project and upon whose invitation several prominent Estonian sauna producers have joined the initiative. The container-sized sauna included in the complex has been built by Saunasell OÜ.
The independent nonprofit MTÜ Saunad Ukrainasse was established in response to the idea to send sauna complexes to Ukraine fist come up with by the Toompea District of the Estonian Defense League, Estonian nonprofit Slava Ukraini and HUUM OÜ.
Editor: Aili Vahtla