EDF chief: A thousand fallen Russian troops per day is too few

EDF chief Gen. Martin Herem greets journalist Astrid Kannel outside the ERR radio house.
EDF chief Gen. Martin Herem greets journalist Astrid Kannel outside the ERR radio house. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Commander of Estonia's Defense Forces (EDF) General Martin Herem says that one of the main takeaways from the progress of the war in Ukraine is that the aggressor must be neutralized to the nth degree, should they enter your territory.

Talking to ERR's Vikerraadio show "Reedeses intervjuus", of which the following is an excerpt, Gen. Herem said that: "I had previously thought that inflicting punishment would work as a deterrent. I there were heavy losses in Russia, a clear thousand casualties per day, it would break the psychological backbone of the Russian nation, while the mothers of those soldiers killed, along with everyone else, would protest. Then, maybe, the war would have been brought to a conclusion, as was the case in the Chechen wars. Now, however, I can see that a thousand fallen per day is if anything understating things."

Speaking to ERR's Astrid Kannel, Gen. Herem added that one concrete lesson to be drawn is that definite losses on the Ukrainian side have to be taken into account.

Herem added that one thing to learn from the war in Ukraine is that certain losses have to be reckoned with.

"Ukrainian air defense is not, and cannot be, so omnipotent as to be able to take down everything that's thrown at them. The closer one is to the border, or to the front line, the more likely it is that, for example, an S-300 missile will get through. We have to take that into account," he said.

There are ways to mitigate this, however, he added – objects at risk of potential attack must be defended and secured so as to minimize losses, to as far an extent as possible.

"Second, we must be ready to neutralize Russian launch sites, which can be located up to 100km away, for example. So we will act in this direction as well," he added.

The entire Estonian-language interview is due to be published on ERR uudised's site this Saturday morning.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

Source: Vikerraadio, interviewer Astrid Kannel.

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