Pro-Russian singer banned from entering Estonia ahead of scheduled performance in Tallinn

Misha Marvin's concert in Tallinn was supposed to take place on April 19.
Misha Marvin's concert in Tallinn was supposed to take place on April 19. Photo: Kuvatõmmis veebilehelt

The Estonian Ministry of the Interior has imposed an entry ban on pro-Russian singer Misha Marvin, who was scheduled to perform in Tallinn on Friday.

Russian websites have described Marvin as «an artist who regularly receives prestigious nominations and awards». Among the latter is the coveted Golden Gramophone in Russia, which, among others, has been awarded to Ani Lorak, Polina Gagarina and Philipp Kirkorov -- megastars who have not managed to unequivocally condemn the war of aggression against Ukraine and continue to perform in Russia, which has been declared a terrorist state, Meelis Kompus, head of communications of the Estonian Ministry of Culture, said.

Marvin's music has garnered hundreds of millions of listens on streaming platforms and his music is consistently heard on popular Russian radio stations. However, what makes this more interesting is that Misha Marvin, whose real name is Mikhail Mihailovich Reshetnyak, is from Chernivtsi in western Ukraine and in 2022, at the beginning of the full-scale war of aggression, he condemned what was happening, but later returned to Russia, where his loyal audience allegedly awaited him. The relevant corrections have also been made in his social media channels.

«However, the musician's performances before the Tallinn audience will definitely be canceled for at least the next five years. The Ministry of Culture asked the Ministry of the Interior to assess, based on the available information, whether it would be possible for such an artist to perform in Estonia. Thus, Misha Marvin's work will not be sounding throughout the Schengen area for the next five years, which is the duration of the entry ban imposed on him. This is the result of Estonia's decisive value-based actions,» Kompus said.

«Here's a reminder to our cultural organizers: Estonia, together with like-minded countries, supports Ukraine's victory in the war of aggression against Russia. Artists who still perform in Russia or occupied Crimea have no business in Estonia, nor do those who openly support the Kremlin's aggressive policy. Such cultural figures cannot and should not perform here and, through this, support the Russian war machine and propaganda,» he added.

According to Kompus, the Ministry of Culture does not track the cultural calendar, but information that the artist has performed in Russia, Belarus and the occupied territories of Ukraine since the start of the full-scale war on Feb. 24, 2022 is enough to place the situation under the microscope. All circumstances are checked and decisions are made accordingly. A Russian or Belarusian artist is only welcome in Estonia if they have unequivocally and publicly condemned Russia's war and burned the bridge with the Russian market.

Tickets sold for Misha Marvin's concert are to be refunded. In such a situation, the concert organizer bears all the damage.

«We emphasize again that concert organizers should not invite such artists to perform in Estonia -- they cannot perform here. We would like to thank all cultural organizers in Estonia who have thankfully supported Ukraine and Ukrainian cultural figures so far. Unfortunately, the case involving Marvin is not the first. Quite recently, singer, songwriter and YouTuber Klava Koka was banned from entering Estonia for similar reasons. He, too, assumed his place in the line where the aforementioned superstars Philipp Kirkorov and 'peace singer' Polina Gagarina were already waiting,» Kompus said.