Russian forces stationed east of Estonia significantly weakened by the war: report

A view of the border crossing from Estonia into Russia over the Narva River on May 27, 2022 in Narva, Estonia. Photo: Getty Images/Jeff J Mitchell

The war in Ukraine has significantly weakened Russian forces stationed across Estonia’s eastern border, the “Postimees” daily reported on Friday, citing Estonian intelligence sources.

“The Russian army located at the Estonian border has not been as weak as it is now for years. The soldiers killed in Ukraine and the equipment destroyed there directly affect Russia’s military potential on the country’s border,” the daily wrote.

Captain Taavi Laasik of the Estonian Defence Forces press team reported that “a huge part of the troops previously stationed at the Estonian border are involved in the war in Ukraine.”

Moreover, according to Kalev Stoicescu of the International Centre for Defence and Security in Tallinn, Russia has been forced to gather its best-trained troops from all over the country for the current fight in Ukraine.

Estonian Defence Forces Lieutenant, Colonel Eero Rebo, said on Friday that a battalion-sized detachment of recently mobilised Russians had undergone training in Pskov near the Estonian border and would soon be sent to the frontline in Ukraine. “They have received much more comprehensive training than those mobilised in earlier months,” he acknowledged.

Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur, in turn, points out that there are several more sites in the St Petersburg area that are under constant observation by Estonian services. He did not provide further information as to the nature of these sites.