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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