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Russian Scholar Denied Entry Into Estonia

A prominent Russian ethnologist was denied entry into Estonia on Sunday when he arrived to speak at a media conference hosted by Impressum, an NGO that Estonian officials believe glorifies Russia and engages in anti-Estonian propaganda, Interfax reported.

Valery Tishkov, the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, was denied entry into the country upon his arrival at a Tallinn airport, according to Interfax. Tishkov spent the night in the airport and was ordered to fly back to Moscow on Monday morning, without being informed of the reason behind his expulsion, the report said.

Businessman Igor Teterin, one of the founders of Impressum, said that Estonian authorities had decided last week that they would not grant the scholar the right to enter the country but had failed to inform Tishkov of their decision, Interfax reported.

Other prominent Russian figures who had planned to speak at Teterin's media conferences in recent years have also been denied entry into Estonia. In 2012, Estonian authorities cancelled the Schengen visa of Russian military journalist Igor Korotchenko upon his arrival at the Tallinn airport and sent him back to Moscow. Korotchenko had been scheduled to speak about the Soviets' defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War and the use of Nazi symbolism in modern politics, according to RIA Novosti.

Since its establishment in 2008, Impressum has largely been kept in check by Estonian authorities, who believe Russia uses it as a platform to glorify itself and promote its own historical narratives in the Baltic states.

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