A Russian Coast guard officer is seen pointing a gun at a Greenpeace International activist as five activists attempt to climb the 'Prirazlomnaya,' an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom platform in Russias Pechora Sea.  This is one example of the disproportionate use of force by the Russian authorities during a peaceful protest. The activists are there to stop it from becoming the first to produce oil from the ice-filled waters of the Arctic. Image (c) Greenpeace

A Russian Coast guard officer is seen pointing a gun at a Greenpeace International activist as five activists attempt to climb the ‘Prirazlomnaya,’ in Russias Pechora Sea. Image (c) Greenpeace

“Imagine you’re that activist. For a moment, in the middle of the chaos of protesting in the frigid Arctic ocean, you lock eyes with a Russian Coast Guard officer. He is there to stop your peaceful protest, and help ensure the company’s operation goes ahead.”

That’s how Greenpeace saw it today when they boarded the Prirazlomnayathe Russian arctic production platform located 60 kilometers offshore in the Pechora Sea.  11 warning shots were fired by Russian security services at the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise. The activists are now being held by the Russian security service.

Image (c) Greenpeace

Image (c) Greenpeace

This is the same platform that Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo and his team boarded a year ago.

The activists are attempting to halt production operations on the rig which they claim has not been maintained properly and is in imminent danger of spilling oil into the arctic. Their claim is supported by the following video which they say comes from the rig itself.

We are unable to independently verify the source of the video however.

The significant issue is not necessarily whether or not the Prirazlomnaya is fit to produce hydrocarbons, but rather the frightening escalation of force exhibited by the Russian security toward Greenpeace.

In August, Russian authorities boarded the Arctic Sunrise threatening the use of force against the activists unless they withdrew from the area.

Image (c) Greenpeace

Image (c) Greenpeace

Image (c) Greenpeace

Image (c) Greenpeace

Image (c) Greenpeace

Image (c) Greenpeace

 

 

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    • Alan

      A big Vladimir Putin fan, are you? Please. You’ve just discredited yourself.

  • jetskibatty

    Well done GP for having the balls to do something instead of SSCS for a change. Shame you’re not down there stopping the Whales being killed. Glad you’re standing up to these corporate bullies.

  • J

    OK – so my question to those of you saying piracy and claiming that the GP itself is the risk: what about GP´s claim that the operation is a risk to the arcitc environment? And if so: how to stop it if nobody seems to care?

  • CharleyA

    GP operates like vandals – treat them as such. The Sea Shepherds are basically the same. These NGOs operate outside the laws of nations, and should expect consequences.

  • snoozerone

    Aim lower and sink ‘em Vlad.

    • Alan

      “Vlad”? Are the two of you buddies? Amazing to see the number of people out there who rally around Putin nowadays. Let me guess… you are neither Russian nor very bright.

  • http://www.jeremiahblatz.com/ Jeremiah Blatz

    All the haters may wish to consider the possibility that the drilling platform is not a “controlled environment” and that the operations themselves are a hazard. GP has presented evidence to support that claim, but most of the commenters here appear to ignore that. As to claims that GP is going to plant a bomb… well, your’re insane. There are plenty of valid reasons to criticize GP, but none of them have been raised here.

    • Jamie McCroskey

      The court didn’t believe them either.

  • The Usual Suspect

    Notice To Activists:

    Actions have consequences.
    You are subject to Russian Law when in sovereign Russian territory.
    Failure to comply immediately with the orders of Russian authorities may result in actions up to and including death (yours, not theirs).
    You have a responsibility to not put anybody’s life or livelihood in danger who works on the platform or for the Russian Coast Guard.
    Unless you are willing to accept these consequences and responsibilities, you should stay home and get a real job that contributes to your homeland’s economy instead of playing environmental pirates.

    • Alan

      Notice to The Usual Suspect:
      If you are looking for more than say twenty people to read your notice, you are probably posting this in the wrong forum. Also, probably nobody here is an activist. Good luck to you.

  • Ben

    I’m no fan of Putin, but it sounds like they showed great restraint not to shoot to kill with extreme prejudice. I’m glad that’s not what happened, however.

    Wouldn’t it be legal to use whatever means necessary to defend a ship at sea against attack (e.g.: boarders, pirates, etc)?

  • Homple

    Not every nation will let activists get away with the stunts they pull on Europe, The UK, Japan, and the US.

    They are well advised to stick to harassing countries ruled by political correctness.

  • Mike

    They are pirates and should be treated as such. Funny that Green Peace and Sea Shepard are so focused on saving the environment, yet burn tons of fuel chasing around fishing vessels or attempting to board tankers/rigs. Highly hypocritical, and extremely dangerous to all involved.

  • Edvard Borg

    Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like that the Russians didn’t sink or seize the GP vessel.

  • Layne

    It looks to me like they have the attention they were seeking. I just don’t think I would care to end up in a russian prison.

    I do agree they are very lucky to be alive, messing with the russians…. not too smart.

    lastly, If it looks like, acts like, and talks like a pirate… it must be a pirate.

  • JoeO

    Has anyone else watched the video that is allegedly from the rig? If it is for real, one has to wonder how long before that rig has a mishap, a very serious mishap like a platform-wide fire..

  • Larkby

    What nation wouldnt view this as an affront to sovereignty. Under international common law, or the law of nations, pirates are hosteis humanis generis (the enemy of all mankind).

    Greenpeace has some sophisticated operators. They are familiar with the attribution of sovereinty to rigs within the EEZ of nations and vessels in general. They invaded Russia, and compelled the use of Speznatz for national defense. They are lucky to be alive, and assuredly are extremely uncomfortable, but knew they would be pirates/terrorists in the scenario. And i dont mean they knew what they were getting into in the sense i would say a person knew about the risk of going over a speed limit; these people invaded a superpower nation.

    Whatever nationality you are from, this offends your notion of possessory power and control and erodes all government authority to protect these interests if action is not taken. Russia furthered not only their interests but that of all nations by their military response.

  • Mike

    If these Green Peace folks tried to board my ship, they’d have a long swim back home.

  • http://www.examiner.com/user/4964201 Kevin Brent

    Greenpeace has nothing to do with environmentalism, and everything to do with communism. They are getting funded by somebody and it isn’t millionaires. It’s a government, and when they are exposed, they need to be treated as a nation who is committing acts of war and dealt with accordingly.

  • http://AuspiciousWorks.com Dave Skolnick

    The difference between an activist and a terrorist depends on perspective. Personally, I agree with the motives of Greenpeace and strongly disagree with their methods. The ends do NOT justify the means.

    History will sort it out. In the meantime I think the Russian Coast Guard took reasonable and justifiable action. I hope those taken prisoner are prosecuted.

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