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Zvezda TV channel taking effort to clarify situation with journalists detained in Tallinn

July 25, 2014, 20:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Journalists had been detained at the airport immediately after arrival and their documents had been seized
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© ITAR-TASS/Aleksandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, July 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Zvezda TV channel is taking effort to clarify the situation with its two journalists detailed at the Tallinn airport, President of the Krasnaya Zvezda media holding, Alexei Pimanov, told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

He said it was not yet possible to establish stable telephone contact with special correspondent Maxim Gritsenko and cameraman Vyacheslav Amelyutin, who had been detained at the Tallinn airport’s passport control desk earlier on Friday. “We are taking all possible measures to clarify the situation, including through diplomatic channels. We hope this situation is simpler than the previous ones, since there are no combat operations in Estonia,” Pimanov said, referring to numerous reports on arresting TV reporters in Uktaine.

Maxim Dodonov, Zvezda’s director of news broadcasting, told ITAR-TASS earlier on Friday that Zvezda had managed to get in touch with one of the two men. “Maxim (Gritsenko, a special correspondent) picked up to say he could not speak,” he said, adding that the channel had got in touch with the Zvezda crew driver who confirmed that the two journalists had been detained. According to the driver, Gritsenko called him in the morning to say that they had been detained at the airport immediately after arrival and their documents had been seized.

Earlier on Friday, Zvezda reported that its two journalists, special correspondent Maxim Gritsenko and cameraman Vyacheslav Amelyutin, who had arrived in Estonia to provide coverage of the so-called annual meeting of veterans of the 20th Waffen SS division in Sinimae, had been detained at a passport control desk without any explanations. “All their belongings were seized. They were deprived of a possibility to get in touch with the editorial desk,” Zvezda said on its website.

In late July, former legionaries of the 20th Estonian Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS hold their traditional meeting at Sinimae, a small village in Estonia’s far northeast near the border with Russia, where a fierce months-long battle between Nazi troops, including the Estonian SS divisions, and the advancing Red Army was fought in 1944. Such get-togethers have repeatedly been criticized and condemned by many countries: in line with the conclusion of SS chapter of the Nurnberg Tribunal Judgment, it is impossible to single out any SS division that had not taken part in criminal activities.

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