In response to Arctic drilling protest, Russian Coast Guard seizes Greenpeace ship and crew, charge piracy

A peaceful protest at an oil rig in the Arctic against risky oil drilling resulted in two arrests. The following evening the Coast Guard illegally boarded Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise. Activists and two freelance journalists are currently detained in Russia and facing piracy charges.


  1. At 4:00 am local time September 18th, a group of Greenpeace activists from the Arctic Sunrise headed out to climb Gazprom’s oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya.
  2. Five Greenpeace climbers attempted to board the ship, to peacefully protest Arctic oil drilling.
  3. Before all the activists had a chance to scale the platform, boats headed towards the Greenpeace activists from the Russian Coast Guard vessel. They began to ram into Greenpeace's boats, threatening them with guns and knives.
  4. Two activists, Sini Saarela and Marco Paolo Weber, were arrested by the Russian Coast Guard and held overnight without charge and denied legal representation.
  5. Gazprom's security sidekicks threaten protestors with guns
  6. The next day, the Arctic Sunrise attempted to communicate with the Russian Coast Guard about the two detained activists. Shortly afterwards armed Russian Coast Guard and Federal Security Services illegally boarded the Arctic Sunrise.