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MOSCOW, July 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian journalists from the Zvezda TV channel, who had arrived in Estonia to provide coverage of an annual meeting of veterans of the 20th Waffen SS division in Sinimae, were detained at the Tallinn airport because of the professional activities, Zvezda information broadcasting director Maxim Dodonov said on Friday.
“We have learnt that our journalists were not the only Russian reporters who arrived by the same flight,” he said, adding that a female journalist from the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily had passed passport control without any problems. “They knew who arrived and with which purposes,” Dodonov noted.
He said that the Zvezda journalists might be kept in custody till tomorrow.
Zvezda 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. “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 Ukraine.
Earlier on Friday, Dodonov said 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.
The two Zvezda 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.
Former legionaries of the 20th Estonian Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS hold their traditional meeting in late July 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 conclusions 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.