Russian Tones Turn Harsher – Tough Sentences Looking More Likely For Greenpeace-30 Activists

Having read the latest on the Greenpeace-30 activists detained by Russian authorities last month, I sense that they probably will be spending a few more years in prison than what some us thought just a couple of days earlier, just after it was announced that piracy charges would be dropped and that the activists would be facing the lesser charges of hooliganism.

The lesser charge was seen as a ray of hope. But that seems to be fading away.

Since then, the tones coming out of Russia have once again become notably harsher, with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commenting. The German edition of Ria Novosti writes:

The arrested Greenpeace activists from the Arctic Sunrise vessel knew what they were getting themselves into. Now we simply have to wait for the court’s decision, so says Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

‘This action was planned. All those involved very well knew who and what they would photograph,’ said Lavrov.”

Obviously Lavrov thinks they are guilty of serious offences. These remarks by Lavrov weren’t reported in the English version of Ria Novosti.

The Russian media also points out that the Greenpeace activists also have other charges to worry about, in addition to the serious charge of hooliganism. The English language Ria Novosti writes:

Russian investigators earlier said some of the detained activists could face additional charges, including ‘assault on an official on duty.’

Russia seized the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and its multinational crew after several activists tried to scale an offshore oil rig belonging to Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom on September 18.”

Unfortunately, sympathy for the Greenpeace environmental activists is also running low in Russia. Ria Novosti writes:

Only 20 percent of Russians believe that the Greenpeace protest was actually in defense of the environment, whereas 42 percent think it was part of a conspiracy to take away Russia’s valuable natural resources, according to a survey released Monday by respected state-run pollster VTsIOM.”

Greenpeace management obviously had completely miscalculated in sending the activists out to protest in the Russian Arctic. When you take on Russia, you take on the whole system: judicial, political, and even the state-run pollsters. It’s awfully clear who is going to lose this one. The activists won’t be coming back anytime soon.


7 responses to “Russian Tones Turn Harsher – Tough Sentences Looking More Likely For Greenpeace-30 Activists”

  1. Col A - Australia

    So good – lock them all up and throw away the keys, we have a number of their green comrades here if the Russians have room?

  2. JP

    The links are not correct. The supposedly German link points to English.

  3. Mike Spilligan

    I expect we’ll see tearful internet petitions here (UK) but the only one I’d sign would be one for really robust sentencing.
    By the way, PG, many thanks for a constantly interesting and informative blog.

  4. BrianL


    The eco-bullies have finally come up against somebody who won’t bend over and grab their ankles for them in an attempt to be politically correct. Russians won’t be bullied. Good for them in this case.

  5. Sam Pyeatte

    Keep them as long as you want to. They will not be missed.

  6. Loodt Pretorius

    I just hope the Russians keeps the GP terrorists locked-up until they can repeat the prison menu in Russian: Cabbage soup, cabbage soup with onion, cabbage soup with potato, cabbage soup with sweet potato, cabbage soup with white beans, cabbage soup with black beans, cabbage soup with french beans, cabbage soup with leeks, cabbage soup with beet root….

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