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27 Dec, 2023 11:22

Estonia has found a pretext to stop feeding Ukrainians – Moscow

Tallinn is eager to hand over fighting-age men to Kiev to cut costs, the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed
Estonia has found a pretext to stop feeding Ukrainians – Moscow

Estonia plans to reduce spending on support for Ukrainian men who fled to the country by sending them back to Kiev for military enlistment, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova claimed that Tallinn was using Kiev's request for more troops as an excuse to decrease support for refugees.

She was referring to comments made by Lauri Laanemets, Estonia's interior minister, who suggested repatriating approximately 7,000 military-aged Ukrainian men. On Monday, a proposed law was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament aimed at boosting conscription numbers and imposing strict penalties on draft dodgers.

Zakharova suggested that Tallinn was guided by self-interest in its supposed intention to assist Kiev.

“Those people, who sought refuge in Estonia, they need to be fed, given jobs, medical treatment,” she noted. “Estonia did not sign up for that. It signed up for Russophobia, for endless informational and political attacks on our nation.”

She predicted that the Estonian government would eagerly dispose of the Ukrainians once the new system is implemented in Kiev.

Currently, the Estonian government offers various benefits to Ukrainian refugees, including housing, food, healthcare, and assistance for families with children. According to the NGO Estonian Refugee Council, one-time rent compensation can reach up to €1,200 ($1,325).

Zakharova claims that Kiev's attempts to replenish frontline losses have mostly been unsuccessful this year, with only about 40,000 newcomers enrolled in the army. 

She argued that this outcome was understandable since "there are increasingly fewer people who want to fight for a corrupt and nationalist government" in Kiev.

The proposed mobilization reform will turn Ukrainians eligible for mobilization into “disenfranchised slaves,” who would be “hunted down” by officials, she warned.

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