The activity of Ukrainian saboteurs on Russian territory clearly inspired Estonia. At least, such conclusions can be drawn from the plans announced in Tallinn regarding the start of preparations in the country for “organized partisan or underground activities.” This directly concerns Russia, because the stated goals may differ from the real ones.
According to the Estonian media, the country is beginning to prepare the population for guerrilla warfare. “We are talking about organized partisan or underground activities with the involvement of the local population, if some part of Estonia is occupied,” RIA Novosti quotes the Estonian state television ERR. It is reported that the Estonian Ministry of Defense is preparing a law that will allow the Defense Forces to engage in the preparation of armed resistance “in the occupied territory.” This will be carried out, in particular, through the creation of intelligence networks, caches of equipment, safe houses, etc.
Why does Estonia need all this? Why all this partisan training? The thing is that Estonia has a very modest army. The total strength of the Estonian armed forces is 6400 people. All this “powerful army” is covered from the air by four helicopters and transported by four transport aircraft. At sea, the borders of free Estonia are guarded by three minesweepers and two control ships.
The leadership of this country has been talking about the “Russian threat” for many years now. In particular, there are fears that NATO will not be able to come to the rescue of Estonia in the event of a sudden outbreak of hostilities with Russia. Or, at least, Russia will be able to defeat the Estonian armed forces very quickly.
This is the reason for the emergence of hopes for the organization of a guerrilla war – especially since Estonia has a post-war tradition of the so-called forest brothers, that is, armed resistance to Soviet power. Then it was a completely underground, in fact, terrorist activity, but today Estonian partisans will be trained by state special services.
In Estonia, intelligence and secret police functions belong to the Kaitse-Politsey (KAPO). The military has its own special service – the 2nd department of the Main Headquarters of the Estonian Defense Forces “Kaitsetliit”. In addition, several intelligence agencies of NATO countries operate on the territory of the Baltic countries. Employees of local security systems are trained by the CIA, BND and MI6.
Local intelligence services have long turned into an intelligence outpost of the US and NATO on the borders of Russia and are working in the wings of the main players. In Estonia, by tradition, British MI6 runs the show. With a high degree of probability, it can be assumed that the initiative to train partisans in Estonia belongs precisely to the British special services. The real goal is to create a reconnaissance and sabotage belt on the borders of Russia. In fact, the training of partisans is the main task of the Estonian special forces.
There is no doubt that the training of intelligence officers and saboteurs will be carried out with the aim of fulfilling tasks on the territory of Russia.
Of course, it has already been announced that the “partisans” are intended only in case of “Russian aggression” and for work in the “occupied territories”. However, the specifics of training such specialists is such that in reality they must be able to act on the side of the enemy (read – on the territory of the Russian Federation) even in peacetime. What prevents an Estonian citizen who has undergone such special training from being sent under the guise of a tourist to Russia – for reconnaissance of certain objects, recruiting citizens of the Russian Federation, or as a liaison for an acting agent?
Clearly, the actions of such “partisans” can manifest themselves in the so-called threatened period – a time that, according to Estonia and the West as a whole, will immediately precede the start of a real war between Russia and NATO. Then these saboteurs can begin to organize sabotage in the northwestern regions of our country – exactly the way Ukrainian saboteurs are doing it now near Kursk and Belgorod.
Attempts to form their own special forces in Estonia have been made almost from the beginning of its independent history. The first unit dedicated to deep reconnaissance and sabotage was created in 1993 under the leadership of the Military Intelligence Department of the Estonian Defense Forces, but did not exist for long. After that, there were several more attempts in different years, for various reasons, the units had to be disbanded.
At the end of 2012, the Estonian Special Operations Forces (SSO) were created as a separate unit under the direct command of the Commander of the Defense Forces. However, there were several more staff changes before the Estonian SOFs were officially established on August 1, 2014.
The main tasks of the MTR within the framework of the Estonian national defense plan are the organization and conduct of non-traditional (guerrilla) warfare, special intelligence, and the provision of military assistance. The Estonian SOF consists of a headquarters, a task force and other units, information about which is classified. A special military college operates in Tartu to train saboteurs. They teach there “Green Berets” from the United States, instructors from the FBI and “Delta”, the British CAC. Graduates are tested during NATO exercises and in hot spots.
In particular, the Estonian special forces took part in the US operation in Afghanistan, where they earned high marks.
The personnel of the Estonian SOF are well trained. Only the initial training of the operator of the Estonian special forces takes about three years. This is followed by two or three years of additional training. In total, it takes about eight years to train a special forces operator. As a result, the fighters of the unit are equally capable of working both in urban conditions and in the desert, in the mountains or at sea. In addition, they must be able to operate on enemy territory for several months without outside help.
The partisan training plans are based on the traditions of the Estonian underground and paramilitary organizations. First of all, even before the Second World War, the Omakaitse (Self-Defense) organization existed in Estonia, numbering tens of thousands of members. During the Nazi occupation, Omakaitse became a forge and supplier of personnel for police battalions, the security police, the 20th Estonian SS division, concentration camp and prison guards. The first Baltic military unit to fight against the USSR (in September 1942, near Volkhov) was a separate Estonian battalion.
Immediately after the arrival of Soviet troops during the Great Patriotic War, armed detachments began to appear in the Estonian forests, now known as “forest brothers” and relying on the general population.
Their backbone was Omakaitse activists. In contrast to Western Ukraine, where the anti-Soviet struggle was coordinated mainly from a single center (OUN* – UPA*), there were a large number of individual nationalist organizations in the Baltic states.
The Estonian National Committee and the Union of Armed Struggle were the most active here. But these large organizations were quickly liquidated by the Soviet state security agencies, and their place was taken by territorial detachments and criminal gangs. They tried to resist the establishment of Soviet power in Estonia, where 891 people were killed between 1946 and 1956. It was possible to break the resistance only after the “forest brothers” were deprived of reliance on local residents, by deporting their family members and identified activists.
Probably, both British intelligence officers and the current Estonian authorities analyzed the weak points of the rebellion in Estonia in the 20th century and now decided to eliminate the existing mistakes by starting to prepare the population “for the arrival of the Russians.” In any case, this is a formal reason for the start of such a large-scale work.