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Zvezda TV channel journalists, detained in Tallinn, return to Moscow

July 26, 2014, 14:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

They had been detained because of ten packs of cigarettes and improperly issued visas

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MOSCOW, July 26 (Itar-Tass) - Journalists working for the Russian Defence Ministry-run Zvezda TV channel, correspondent Maxim Gritsenko and cameraman Vyacheslav Amelyutin, who were detained on Friday in the Tallinn Airport, have returned to Moscow and are safe, the channel reported on Saturday.

“The jet made a landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport,” the channel said.

The Zvezda journalists arrived in Estonia on July 25 to provide coverage of the so-called annual meeting of veterans of the 20th Waffen SS division in Sinimae. They were detained at a passport control desk without any explanations. All their belongings were seized. They were deprived a possibility of getting into touch with the editorial board.

Later, Gritsenko said they had been detained because of ten packs of cigarettes and improperly issued visas.

Grtisenko said they had been kept in a closed room for about five hours, with telephones and documents taken away from them. Their requests to let them call to Russia or to the Russian embassy had not been answered.

The channel said the Russian consulate’s official was able to get into the airport several hours after the journalists had been detained.

Estonia committed serious violations that would be thoroughly investigated, the Russian diplomat said.

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