Today, Minister of Defence of Estonia Hanno Pevkur visited the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence League and met with the Commander of the Defence League, Brigadier General Riho Ühtegi, to receive an overview of the most important developments concerning the Defence League, including the increase in the territorial defence structure.
“I am convinced that doubling the size of the territorial defence structure, i.e. to 20,000 people, is the right move and necessary in order to strengthen Estonia’s national defence. The role of territorial defence within our defence structure is crucial, increasing the readiness and ability of the reserve army as a whole to resist the enemy,” said Pevkur after his meeting with the Commander of the Defence League.
Pevkur added that the importance of the role of territorial defence has also received striking confirmation by looking at what is happening in Ukraine. “We will do everything to double Estonia’s security blanket for residents and make it more painful for the enemy. To do this, we have well-thought-out plans, resources, and the determination needed to implement these plans. At this point, I call on all those who wish to contribute to Estonian national defence to join the Defence League, including both Naiskodukaitse and the Noored Kotkad,” stated Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.
According to the Minister of Defence, the Defence League also plays an exceptionally large role in shaping society’s will to defend itself. “Each member of the Defence League district is a valuable bearer of the will to protect in his or her community and among his or her circle of friends. The more Defence League district members we have, the stronger the will of the Estonian people to defend themselves and the more secure Estonia’s freedom will be,” he reiterated.
The Commander of the Defence League, Brigadier General Riho Ühtegi, noted that in recent months membership in the Defence League has grown significantly and is approaching 30,000. “Our Defence League and Naiskodukaitse districts are currently doing a good job of training new members so that they can become full-fledged members of the Defence League district and Naiskodukaitse. Our increased membership means that the Defence League will be able to contribute nearly one-fifth more to national defence in the near future,” added Ühtegi.
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