The little Baltic country of Estonia has a long history of being subjegated under the rule of its larger neighbors – at various times being ruled by Sweden, Germany and Russia. After 22 years of independence, Estonia was invaded and annexed by Stalin in 1939, then ‘liberated’ (occupied) by the German Nazi forces in 1941, and finally re-occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union in 1944. Estonia remained under the boot of the Soviet Union until declaring their independence from the USSR in August 1991, and finally being granted independence from the USSR in September 1991.
Since regaining independence, Estonia has pursued a foreign policy of close co-operation with Western Europe and the US – Estonia has been a member of NATO since March 2004, and a member of the European Union since May 2004. The aim of the Estonian National Defence Policy is to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state and its constitutional order. Strategic goals include enhancing interoperability with other NATO and EU member forces – and to this end, Estonia has been punching above its weight in participation of overseas NATO missions.
Along with orienting itself more to the West, Estonia’s relations with Russia have deteriorated. Now with the recent resurgence of Russian extra-territorial aggression and expansion, the Estonians are understandably nervous about the possibility of history repeating itself – again.
But what if the unthinkable were to happen? What if the Russians did invade again? What would little Estonia be able to do to resist? Well, they have a plan for that and it involves training a nation of guerilla fighters….
“Since the Ukraine war, Estonia has stepped up training for members of the Estonian Defense League, teaching them how to become insurgents, right down to the making of improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.s, the weapons that plagued the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another response to tensions with Russia is the expansion of a program encouraging Estonians to keep firearms in their homes.”
Read all about it here: Spooked By Russia Tiny Estonia Trains A Nation Of Insurgents – New York Times