President on Victory Day: Defense starts with everyone

President Kersti Kaljulaid. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

President Kersti Kaljulaid addressed Sunday's Victory Day parade, noting the scope everyone in Estonian society has in contributing to the country's sense of security.

"We are also preparing our defense forces and defense league for situations that are unlikely, but still possible," Kersti Kaljulaid said in her speech at the parade in Tartu, according to a press release from the president's office.

"Similarly, we might all be prepared for other difficult events which are unlikely, but can still happen," she continued.

This preparation consists of more than just measures dealing with classic, conventional conflicts, the president said, and has to include more run-of-the-mill natural or human disasters.

"We are more likely to see a major power outage, snowstorm, flood, or the derailing of dangerous cargo," she continued.

While such events might not be a threat to Estonia's independence, they could paralyze everyday life and compromise security. But with this ‒ every citizen's sense of security ‒ begins the security of our land," she continued.

The president also noted the importance of those serving behind the lines, in Estonia's original struggle for independence 100 years ago.

"The War of Independence was not only won by frontline soldiers, but also by the farmer who provided the army with a cart; the person who guarded the army's rear; a tailor sewing uniforms for the soldiers; a compassionate nurse who cared for the wounded," the president continued.

"Nowadays, we refer to this joint effort from the whole of society as a broad-based defense. This means the readiness in all areas of life for crises and the protection of the entire society," the president said.

"Simple things: each of us can afford to put together a small food store, or a radio with batteries," she said.

"Brush up on first aid measures. Download the mobile app from the Women's Home Defence (Naiskodukaitse), and retain the codes of conduct that the state sent out a few months ago," she said.

"Foreign crises also have an impact on the protection and sense of security of the Estonian people," the president continued.

"These are crises which we have our allies' help in solving. We can count on the help of our allies to protect Estonia," she added.

"These Allies were with us at the War of Independence and they are are with us today in Tartu. Losing always takes place alone. It is impossible to lose with the support of allies - there is always someone who the burden can be shared with, so that it does not get overwhelming. United, we are unbeatable," the president added.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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