We Have No Plan B if Ukraine Falls, Says Estonia

Through LifeBahn Lens

Estonia, a small Baltic state on NATO’s eastern flank, is bracing itself for the possibility of a Russian victory in Ukraine. The country, which shares a border with Russia, sees itself as a front-line state in the conflict and fears that if Ukraine falls, it could be next on President Vladimir Putin’s agenda.


Estonia's Commitment to Ukraine

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine two years ago, Estonia has been a steadfast supporter of Kyiv. The Estonian government has allocated more than 1% of its GDP to support Ukraine's war effort, providing money, weapons, and other resources. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas believes this is crucial to preventing a wider conflict.

"If every NATO country did this," Kallas asserts, "Ukraine would win." However, Ukraine is currently struggling against the superior firepower and manpower of Russian forces. The situation on the ground is dire, with shortages of artillery, ammunition, air defenses, and troops hampering Ukraine’s efforts to push back.

No Plan B for Russian Victory

When asked about Estonia's contingency plans if Ukraine loses, Kallas is unequivocal: "We have no Plan B for a Russian victory because then we would stop focusing on Plan A" — which is to help Ukraine push back the Russian invasion. She emphasizes the importance of staying committed to Ukraine’s defense and not giving in to pessimism. For Kallas, victory for Ukraine is not just about territorial gains but also about securing its future within NATO.

A Hawkish Stance

Prime Minister Kallas, who has a personal history with Soviet oppression, is one of NATO’s most hawkish leaders regarding Russia. Her tough stance has raised concerns in the White House about potentially escalating the conflict. Despite these concerns, Kallas remains resolute, urging the West to recognize the existential threat posed by a newly aggressive Russia.

Domestic Challenges

At home, Kallas faces criticism over the financial burden of supporting Ukraine. Many Estonians are unhappy with the increased taxes needed to fund their country's contribution to Ukraine's defense. However, Kallas believes that Estonia must prepare for the worst to avoid it. She points to various "hybrid attacks" by Russia, including cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns, as examples of the ongoing threat.

NATO's Readiness

NATO has significantly increased its military presence in Estonia and other eastern European countries since the Ukraine invasion. The UK leads a 1,200-strong battle group in Tapa, northern Estonia, which includes tanks, infantry, artillery, drones, and elite French mountain infantry. This is part of a broader strategy to deter any potential Russian aggression by ensuring rapid reinforcement capabilities.

Brigadier Giles Harris, commander of UK forces in Estonia, underscores the importance of this presence. "The key part of this strategy of denial is to make sure we have enough forces built up in time to create more of a deterrence," he explains. The aim is to prevent any Russian incursion by being ready to deploy thousands of troops quickly.

Confidence in Defense

Despite the challenges in Ukraine, Brigadier Harris remains confident in NATO's ability to defend Estonia. "Absolutely," he says, regarding the readiness to repel a Russian incursion. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine provides valuable insights into Russian tactics, allowing NATO forces in Estonia to prepare more effectively


Estonia's unwavering support for Ukraine and its preparations for potential conflict reflect the high stakes involved. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’s leadership and NATO’s reinforced presence aim to ensure that Estonia remains secure. As the situation in Ukraine unfolds, Estonia and its NATO allies continue to stand firm, prepared for whatever comes next.