Armed Russians Storm Greenpeace Ship [Update]
Greenpeace Activists Arrested for Arctic Trespassing
The Russian Coast Guard boarded the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and arrested 25 activists onboard following a protest against Gazprom’s Arctic oil drilling operations.
At the time of the boarding, the Arctic Sunrise was circling Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya platform inside international waters. Coordinates confirm that the ship was inside of Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), making this an illegal boarding by the Russian Coast Guard. The coordinates at the time of the boarding were: 69-19-53N : 57-16-53E
Roping down from a helicopter, armed Coast Guard boarded the vessel and rounded up the activists, assembling them on the helideck. Greenpeace International activists, locked inside the radio room, said they saw other activists detained on their knees at gunpoint.
Greenpeace documented the raid on their Twitter page seen below:
The Coast Guard had earlier arrested and held two other Greenpeace crewmembers who had scaled Gazprom’s drill platform on Wednesday in a protest.
“We ask President Putin to restrain the Coast Guard and order them to holster their guns and withdraw. We are a peaceful organiszation and our protest has done nothing to warrant this level of aggression", said Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo.
The Russian Ministry of International Affairs earlier stated that the Coast Guard intervened during Wednesday’s protest because the Arctic Sunrise represented an environmental and security threat.
“The Coast Guard has boarded our vessels with guns, threatened our activists at gunpoint and fired 11 warning shots across our ship, so who is the real threat to safety here?” said Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign.