February 26, 2024

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NATO member Estonia wants to build hundreds of bunkers on Russian border to stop invasion in the 'first hour' |  Ukraine-Russia war

NATO member Estonia wants to build hundreds of bunkers on Russian border to stop invasion in the 'first hour' | Ukraine-Russia war

Estonia – which shares a 333 km border with Russia – is preparing for a possible war with Moscow. According to Estonian officials, the government wants to build about 600 shelters to prevent possible invasion and occupation by Russia.

The Baltic states – including Estonia – fear they could become the next target since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. NATO member states have significantly increased their defense spending. At the beginning of this year, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also signed an agreement to equip their borders with Russia and Belarus with “defense facilities” to confront potential military threats.

“These facilities are primarily aimed at avoiding military conflict in our region,” Susanne Lelivalli, Estonian Undersecretary of Defense for Military Preparedness, told reporters on Thursday. “The installations must deprive the enemy of the opportunity to quickly advance on the territory of the Baltic states, and in the event of military raids, the enemy's advance on our borders must be stopped,” she adds.

The American magazine “Newsweek” reported that about 600 bunkers in Estonia will be part of so-called “defense facilities.” According to Lilivali, the overall goal is to “be prepared to fight the enemy from the first meter and from the first hour.” “We have seen different estimates about how quickly Russia can rebuild its army, and we have to use this time wisely,” Lelevali said. “We have come to the conclusion that it is time to make all the necessary preparations.”

According to Newsweek, most of the cube-shaped concrete “basements” will be built into the ground with a partially covered covering perpendicular to the entrance. The bunkers will be about 35 square meters in size, accommodate 10 soldiers, and are designed for soldiers to “live” in them and “provide protection against enemy artillery shells,” said reserve Lt. Col. Kaido Titus, an advisor to Lillyvalley.

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“The most important lesson we have learned is that we must find ways to stop the advance of Russian armored units, because if we let them go, it may soon be too late to protect ourselves,” Titus said.