Ants Laaneots

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Ants Laaneots
RK Ants Laaneots.jpg
Laaneots in 2015
Nickname(s) "Tanki Ants"
Born (1948-01-16) 16 January 1948 (age 69)
Kilingi-Nõmme, Estonia
Allegiance  Soviet Union (1966–1991)
 Estonia (1991–present)
Service/branch Soviet Army
Estonian Defense Force
Years of service 1966–2011
Rank ES-Army-OF9.png General
Commands held

Commander of the Defence Forces

Commandant of the Estonian National Defence College
Chief of the General Staff
Battles/wars 1987–1989 Ethiopian Civil War
Awards 2nd class Order of the Cross of the Eagle
Defence Forces Service Medal
Ministry of Interior Service Medal
Defence League Service Medal
Estonian Border Guard Service Cross
Estonian Rescue Board Service Medal
10 Years of restored Defence Force Memorial Medal
Legion of Merit (Commander)

Ants Laaneots (born 16 January 1948) is an Estonian politician and former military officer. He was previously the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces and a veteran officer in the Soviet Army. Laaneots previously served as the Commandant of the Estonian National Defence College from 2001 to 2006. He was appointed the Commander-in-Chief on 5 December 2006 and was promoted to general in 2011. After retiring from the military, he became a politician.

Early life and education[edit]

Laaneots was born on 16 January 1948 in Kilingi-Nõmme, Estonia. In 1948 the NKVD arrested his father for being a forest brother. For that he was deported to Siberia between 1949–1958.[1] His mother died there in 1952. In July 1966 he entered the Higher Military School in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and graduated in 1970 as an Army Tank Officer. He specialized in the T-64 Tank.

Career[edit]

From 1970 to 1978, he served as a platoon leader, company commander, and battalion commander of the 300th Tank Regiment for the Soviet Army in Ukraine, mostly commanding fleets of T-64 Tanks. From 1978 to 1981, Laaneots studied in the Malinovsky Military Academy of Armored Forces (Военная академия бронетанковых войск им. Р. Я. Малиновского) in Moscow for an armored brigade commander's course, and to qualify on the newly introduced T-80 Tank.. From 1981 to 1987, he was posted to the Soviet-Chinese border in Eastern Kazakhstan. During this assignment he served as the Executive Officer of the 96th Tank Regiment, two years as the Commander of the 180th Tank Regiment, and three years as the Deputy Commander-Chief of Staff of the 78th Armored Division.

From 1987 to 1989, he deployed to Ethiopia where he spent one year as the military advisor to the commander of an infantry division, and a year and a half as the military advisor to the commanding general of an army corps participating in combat activities. Before his resignation from the Soviet Army in September 1991, he served as the Chief of Regional Department of Defence, Tartu in Estonia.[2]

kindralleitnant (English: lieutenant general) Laaneots
Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Defence Forces (r) with Stanley Davis Phillips, US Ambassador to Estonia

After 1991[edit]

Laaneots was one of the founding-officers of the Estonian Army, defecting from the Soviet Army after the August 1991 attempted coup in Moscow. After Estonia regained its independence in 1991, Laaneots served two times as the Chief of the General Staff – from 1991 to 1994, and from 1997 to 1999. He was crucial in transforming the doctrine and tactics of the Estonian Defence Forces from a Soviet mode to a NATO and western mode. From 1994 to 1996 he was in reserve (Director of the Security company AS ESS Lõuna). In 1997 Laaneots was appointed to the position of Inspector General of the Defence Forces. During his second tenure, in 1998, he graduated from the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy.

In 1998, he was promoted to kindralmajor (English: Major general). In 2000, after a year at the course in the Finnish National Defence College, he was appointed the head of the Baltic Defence Research Centre located in Estonia. From September 2001 through to December 2006, he was Commandant of the Estonian National Defence College. Ants Laaneots was appointed the Commander of the Defence Forces on 5 December 2006. He stepped down as Commander of the Defence Forces on 5 December 2011 after his 5-year term ended.

Politics[edit]

As of December 12, 2011, he worked as prime minister Andrus Ansip's advisor in matters of national defence.[3] That job ended on the 28 of March 2014 at the end of Andrus Ansip's term in office.[4] Laaneots joined the Reform Party in late 2014.[5] In the 2015 parliamentary election, Laaneots was elected to the parliament with 5,907 individual votes.[6]

In 2016, after NATO soldiers in Estonia were targeted with racist insults by locals, Laaneots stated that Russians directed the vitriol in order to compromise the relationship between Estonia and the U.S.[7]

Effective dates of promotion[edit]

Soviet Army[edit]

See Military ranks of the Soviet Union
Promotions
Insignia Rank Date
RAF A F1-2Lt since 2010par.svg Lieutenant (лейтена́нт) 1970
RAF A F1FstLt since 2010par.svg Senior Lieutenant (ста́рший лейтена́нт) 1973
RAF A F2Capt since 2010par.svg Captain (капита́н) 1975
RAF A F3Major since 2010par.svg Major (майо́р) 1979
RAF A F4LtCol since 2010par.svg Lieutenant Colonel (подполко́вник) 1982
RAF A F5Col since 2010par.svg Colonel (полко́вник) 1987
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves giving Ants Laaneots an artwork from Jüri Arrak in December 2011.

Estonian Army[edit]

See Military ranks of Estonia
Promotions
Insignia Rank Date
ES-Army-OF5.png Colonel (kolonel) 1992
ES-Army-OF7.png Major General (kindralmajor) 19 June 1998[8]
ES-Army-OF8.png Lieutenant General (kindralleitnant) 18 February 2008[9]
ES-Army-OF9.png General (kindral 16 June 2011[10]

Awards, decorations, and recognition[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Estonian Awards and decorations
EST Order of the Cross of the Eagle 1st Class BAR.png 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of the Eagle 23 February 2012
EST Order of the Cross of the Eagle 2nd Class BAR.png 2nd Class of the Order of the Cross of the Eagle 23 February 2000
EST White Cross of the Estonian Defence League (III class).png White Cross of the Estonian Defence League (I class) 11 November 2011
EST White Cross of the Estonian Defence League (III class).png White Cross of the Estonian Defence League (III class)
EST Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence.png Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence (I class) 23 February 2011
EST Distinguished Service Decoration of the EDF.png Distinguished Service Decoration of the EDF 23 February 1998
EST Order of Merit of the Estonian Defence Forces.png Order of Merit of the Estonian Defence Forces 18 February 2005
EST Gold Cross of the Officer of Land Forces.png Gold Cross of the Officer of Land Forces
EST Navy decoration " Belief and the Will " Class II " Silver Anchor ".png Navy decoration " Belief and the Will " Class II " Silver Anchor "
EST Estonian Defence Forces General Staff Cross of Merit.png Estonian Defence Forces General Staff Cross of Merit 12 November 2003
EST Merit Medal of the Defence League Special Class.png Merit Medal of the Defence League Special Class
EST Memorial Medal 10 Years of the Re-Established Defence Forces.png Memorial Medal "10 Years of the Re-Established Defence Forces"
EST Armed Resistance Cross of Merit.png Armed Resistance Cross of Merit
EST Border Guard Cross of Merit I Class.png Border Guard Cross of Merit I Class
EST Golden Cross of the Rescue Board.png Golden Cross of the Rescue Board
EST Memorial Medal 10 Years of the Re-Established Border Guard (I Class).png Memorial Medal 10 Years of the Re-Established Border Guard (I Class)
EST The Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit (gold).png The Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit (gold)
EST NCO School Medal of Merit.png NCO School Medal of Merit
EST Cross of the Estonian Reserve Officers’ Assembly (gold).png Cross of the Estonian Reserve Officers’ Assembly (gold) 12 June 2001[11]
EST Admiral Johan Pitka Brothers-in-Arms Club Medal of Merit.png Admiral Johan Pitka Brothers-in-Arms Club Medal of Merit
EST Memorial Cross "Spearhead Admiral Pitka".png Memorial Cross "Spearhead Admiral Pitka"
EST St. George's Night Great Star.png St. George's Night Great Star 2007[12]
Foreign Awards
FIN Order of the Lion of Finland 1Class BAR.png Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland (Finland)
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Commander Degree of the Legion of Merit 4 July 2012 (U.S.)
Order of the Polar Star - Ribbon bar.svg Royal Order of the North Star of Sweden, 2nd class 18 January 2011 (Sweden)
SVK Commemorative Medal Min-of-Def 1st BAR.svg Commemorative Medal of the Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic First Class 15 November 2011 (Slovakia)
Order redstar rib.png Order of the Red Star (Soviet Union)

Personal life[edit]

His main research interests include modern conflicts, conflicts involving small states/nations, development of national defence. Since 1999, he has 48 publications, among others 1 monograph, 3 academic papers published in international journals and 15 other academic papers.

In addition to the Estonian language, General Laaneots is fluent in English, Russian, Belarusian, and Finnish. He is an active member of the Estonian National Defence League and the Rotary Club. He is married to Natalia and has a grandson and a daughter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  2. ^ Official Biography, http://www.nato.int/
  3. ^ Former Commander-in-Chief Ants Laaneots starts work as the Prime Ministers advisor (news in Estonian).
  4. ^ Laaneots left the position of Prime Ministers advisor (news in Estonian).
  5. ^ Generals Laaneots and Kert joined the Reform Party (news in Estonian).
  6. ^ "Riigikogu valimised 2015: Detailne hääletamistulemus". Vabariigi Valimiskomisjon. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Klikushin, Mikhail (22 February 2016). "Estonia Wants More NATO Troops—But Only If They Aren't Black". Observer. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "38.Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. June 19, 1998. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 
  9. ^ "45. Sõjaväeliste auastmete andmine". Office of the President. February 18, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ "150. A. Laaneotsale sõjaväelise auastme andmine". Office of the President. June 16, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 
  11. ^ "EROK teeneteristi kavalerid". Eesti Reservohvitseride Kogu. Retrieved December 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Jüriöö teenetemärgi kavalerid". Jöriöö Park. Retrieved December 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Aleksander Jaakson
Chief of the General Staff
1991-1994,1997-1999
Succeeded by
Aarne Ermus
Preceded by
Ants Kiviselg
Commandant of the Estonian National Defence College
2001-2006
Succeeded by
Viljar Schiff
Preceded by
Tarmo Kõuts
Commander of the Defence Forces
2006–2011
Succeeded by
Riho Terras