Greenpeace: Russia Boarded Our Ship, Took Us Captive

Activists were trying to board Gazprom oil platform

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 20, 2013 11:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Russian security forces boarded and took control of a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic yesterday, holding its crew at gunpoint, the activist group has announced. Greenpeace's Arctic Campaign coordinator Christy Ferguson tells CBC News that at least 15 Russian coast guard officers rappeled down onto the Arctic Sunrise ship from helicopters, and are currently holding the crew in the ship's mess. The ship will be taken to the port of Murmansk, according to Russia's Interfax news service. Greenpeace says it was seized in international waters, and should be released.

Four of the activists attempted to board a Russian oil platform in the Barents Sea on Wednesday and prevent it from drilling, the BBC reports. Two activists were detained in that incident, which saw a Russian coast guard ship fire warning shots across the Arctic Sunrise's bow. Russia's foreign ministry called the stunt "aggressive and provocative," saying it "threatened people's lives and could lead to environmental catastrophe." The ministry also summoned the Dutch ambassador to express its displeasure.

Five Greenpeace activists attempt to climb the "Prirazlomnaya," an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom, in Russia's Pechora Sea, Sept. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Denis Sinyakov, Greenpeace)
This image made available by environmental organization Greenpeace and taken on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, shows Greenpeace activists posing atop a 'safety pod' on board the Arctic Sunrise.   (AP Photo/Denis Sinyakov, Greenpeace)
A Greenpeace activist attempts to climb the "Prirazlomnaya," an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom in Russia's Pechora Sea, Sept. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Denis Sinyakov, Greenpeace)
A Russian Coast Guard vessel fires a warning shot as five activists attempt to climb the "Prirazlomnaya," an oil platform operated by Gazprom in Russia's Pechora Sea, Sept. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Denis Sinyakov, Greenpeace)
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