Arctic Our Way: Greenpeace, Gazprom and the Battle for the Shelf

October 21, 2013

All bordering states dream of unconditional sovereignty over the Arctic where, according to estimates from the US Geological Survey, up to 13% of the world’s oil reserves are located (90 billion barrels) and up to 30% of the world’s gas (47.3 trillion cubic meters). Vladimir Putin himself called the suggestion of a Russian scientist to place the Arctic under international control “complete stupidity”; the president let it be known that Russia has set its sights on the region and will not stop at the cost. This was announced on 3 October. And literally that same day, 30 environmental activists from Greenpeace, detained after the protest action on 18 September at a Gazprom oil platform in the Pechora Sea, were charged with piracy. Only four of the detainees – Roman Dolgov, Denis Sinyakov, Andrei Allakhverdov and Yekaterina Zaspa – are Russians. Our siloviki [power ministers, i.e. defense, police, intelligence] consciously embarked on an international scandal, for the first time imposing this harsh article of the criminal code on a large group of foreigners. The Netherlands, under whose flag the Greenpeace ship was flying, has begun an arbitrage suit against Russia. The battle for “our Arctic” has evidently begun.


Storming of the Arctic Sunrise by the Russian FSB 19 September 2013

Storming of the Arctic Sunrise by the Russian FSB 19 September 2013

On 29 September, the former Soviet political prisoner Pavel Litvinov, one of the seven people who went out on Red Square in August 1968 in protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet forces, wrote on his Facebook, “Dima spent four years in Siberia exile with me in his childhood. They will hardly credit that sentence for him.”

Pavel Litvinov now lives in the US, and Dima, his 51-year-old son, the press secretary of Greenpeace, a citizen of Sweden and the US, is the grand-son of the writer Lev Kopelev (also a dissident), and the great grandson of Stalin’s foreign minister, Maxim Litvinov. On that day, the 29th, Dmitry was at the opposite end of the earth, in a pre-trial detention cell in Murmansk awaiting indictment, about which now the whole world knows: he is a pirate of the Pechora Sea.

They are like dissidents…”

“He is my adopted son, but I call him my son…when we emigrated, he was 12 years old,” the 73-year-old Pavel Litvinov tells the New Times. “In America, he studied at the same school where I taught, and received his university degree in anthropology. He lived with the Indians in Ecuador for two years, and speaks (besides Russian, English and French), Quechua, the oldest indigenous language in the world.”

His life took a sharp turn in 1987, when Soviet perestroika resounded throughout the world. “Dmitry at that time was helping with fund-raising for Greenpeace, and now someone there asked him, ‘Do we have anyone who is Russian-speaking’ He turned out to be the only one.”


Dmitry Litvinov in Lenin District Court, Murmansk. 29.09.2013

Dmitry Litvinov in Lenin District Court, Murmansk. 29.09.2013


Dmitry Litvinov has three children — the youngest is 16 — and the family lives in a suburb of Stockholm. Dmitry’s wife is a Swedish woman and a social worker – she helps rehabilitate prisoners who have served their sentences. “Dima taught her the Russian language; she herself lived in Moscow for several years when he was establishing the work of Russian Greenpeace.”

Dmitry did not tell either his father or his sister about the expedition to the Arctic. “We learned about it a day or two after they sailed…There, in the Murmansk cell, it is cold now, and he has rheumatic heart disease, arthritis of the joints in his fingers, and likely this has become aggravated, he is no longer a boy, his health isn’t what it used to be…”

Why the Arctic, exactly? “Until now, no one has drilled (oil) there, the whole world has rejected this idea, but Gazprom began to drill,” Pavel Litvinov tried to explain in an easily understood way. “But this is very dangerous, because there is a very fragile ecosphere – it is easy to pollute it, but to clean it up later is almost impossible because of the ice crust.”

“Their principle is non-violent protest like the Quakers, Gandhi, and Tolstoy,” Pavel Litvinov said, describing the work of his son. “The guys are all sincere, devoted to justice. They draw fire on themselves, but never give up. They have sailed the whole world with that idea. They are like dissidents, aimed at the success of a hopeless cause. But Dima, he is on the whole very much like his grandfather, in character he is a copy of Kopelev, just as stubborn, eloquent, and the main thing, kind. But only he hasn’t had the experience of a Russian prison yet. He was in exile with me in Siberia, in Usuglyakh, near Chita, but exile is not prison. It is impossible to be prepared for prison.”

To work!

On 14 September 2013, the ice-breaker Arctic Sunrise purchased by the Greenpeace members back in 1995 lifted anchor in the Norwegian port of Kirkines and set sail to the Pechora Sea. On board were 30 people, of whom 16 were members of the crew hired by Greenpeace Internationali — and 12 were activists from various countries. The crew was also accompanied by two free-lancers – the photographer Denis Sinyakov and the British video camera operator Kieron Bryan. Among the activists were five mountain-climbers who were assigned a key role in the action. The British citizen Philip Edward Ball, a cameraman by profession, first went to mountain-climbing courses from BBC TV when the relevant skills were required before a shoot. Another Brit, Anthony John Perrett, takes care of trees at home. He is an active member of Greenpeace in England and even created a company which holds trainings for volunteers wishing to take part in actions. Sini Saarela came from Helsinki and is on the Pechora Sea for the second time; a year ago she took part in the same type of expedition, and the freelance photographer from Argentina, Camila Speziale, on the contrary, is on a ship and in Europe at all for the first time. An activist from Switzerland, Marco Paolo Weber works as a trainer in a Swiss mounting-climbing team for Greenpeace, and has been an alpinist for more than 20 years; but for the Polish citizen Tomasz Dziemianczuk, Greenpeace is only a hobby; he works as a cultural manager at Gdansk University.

The expedition was preceded by large-scale preparation. The head office of Greenpeace International and its headquarters in Amsterdam – it owns a fleet of three ships (Arctic Sunrise, Rainbow Warrior and Esperanza) hired a ship crew. The rest of the details of the international operations, including the candidacy of activists is discussed each time by the regional offices of Greenpeace. In the case of the Arctic Sunrise, offices in Russia, Denmark, Norway and Canada agreed in advance about the news message for the expedition: there should not be any drilling in the Arctic. None!


Dmitry Litvinov's wife, Anita, at a protest action at the Russian Embassy in Stockholm

Dmitry Litvinov’s wife, Anita, at a protest action at the Russian Embassy in Stockholm


“We first determine what is required in a crew, and then we begin the selection,” Vladimir Chuprov, head of the energy department of Greenpeace explained to The New Times. “Aside from the skills, let’s say in mountain-climbing, we need to have a person whose documents are in order, who can speak English, who has worked with Greenpeace or in Greenpeace, and who is cooperative and effective. This is not a stroll, after all.” Also taken into account is the cost of the tickets to the departure point, and the experience of participation in expeditions in the past.

“The majority of our volunteers do not work in Greenpeace,” Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace explained to The New Times. “They simply take a vacation and spend their own personal time. And believe me, each time another expedition is being prepared, there isn’t a single Greenpeace activist who doesn’t dream of taking part in it.”

Greenpeace International takes on the basic expenses for the expedition, and local offices pay only the tickets of the volunteers.ii According to Vladimir Chuprov, the cost of a day of sailing on the Arctic Sunrise is about €10,000 euros, that is, the budget of a 20-day operation in the Arctic is approximately €200,000. “That is not so much,” says Vladimir Chuprov. “The daily cost of a nuclear ice-breaker, for example, is €100,000.”

The Prirazlomnaya Platform

On 18 September, Arctic Sunrise reached the Prirazlomnaya and, without entering the three-mile zone restricted by Gazprom itself around the platform, let down two inflatable boats and hooked up a special capsule which they had planned to fasten to the platform, after putting activists inside and thus block the work of the Prirazlomnaya. The boats approached the platform, violating the 500-meter safety zone around it established under international standards. Two activists, Sini Saarela and Marco Weber, threw up the grappling hooks in order to climb the 15-meter height of the platform, but security guards cut the cables, so that the activists fell in the water, where the Ladoga, a border ship, picked them up. The security force on the Prirazlomnaya simultaneously opened “warning fire in the water,” damaging one of the sloops. On the next day, the 19th, the special forces of the Federal Security Service (FSB) stormed the Arctic Sunrise from a helicopter, and brought the ship to Murmansk, where the 30 members of the crew were jailed for two months [in pre-trial detention]. They immediately let them know that they could be accused of piracy.


Sini Saarela, Anthony Perrett, Philip Ball and Camila Speziale (L to R) on the capsule which they planned to fasten to the Prirazlomnaya. Greenpeace activists were supposed to live inside the capsule.

Sini Saarela, Anthony Perrett, Philip Ball and Camila Speziale (L to R) on the capsule which they planned to fasten to the Prirazlomnaya. Greenpeace activists were supposed to live inside the capsule.


On 25 September, President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the Arctic Forum in Salekhard, stated that the Greenpeace activists, although they had violated the norms of international law, were not pirates. But the Russian Federation Investigative Committee did not take the president’s opinion into account – something unheard of!

34,000 Scenarios

The Prirazlomnaya platform belongs to Gazprom Oil Shelf LTC, the vice president of which, by the way, is 31-year-old Andrei Patrushev, son of former FSB director Nikolai Patrushev, now head of the Security Council, who was appointed at the end of September. He has long been on the environmentalists’ agenda. The Greens began fighting for the Arctic — part of the Climate and Ocean Programs of Greenpeace — against the oilers back in 1989, when as a result of the accident on the Exxon Valdez, a tanker which belonged to Exxon, 41 billion liters of oil spilled in the sea along the coasts of Alaska. Ever since, not a single Greenpeace activist has doubted the destructiveness of any oil works in the Arctic; after all, besides the difficulties with eliminating the consequences of accidents in extreme climactic conditions, such projects hasten the melting of the Arctic ices.

When in 2011 Gazprom brought the Prirazlomnaya out to the Pechora Sea, ecologists could not remain on the sidelines. “This is an unfinished platform, in part put together from outdated parts,” Aleksei Kiselyov, head of Greenpeace Russia’s department for Internet and public campaigning told The New Times. “While its base was made at the Sevmash factory, the top was made out of the Hutton platform, scrapped by the Norwegians in 2002 and then apparently repaired by us (there is a corruption scandal connected to the acquisition of this platform: although the original cost was $29 million, Russia bought it through middlemen for $67 million).

Greenpeace ran its first expedition to protest against the deployment of the Prirazlomnaya in 2012. “I was on that expedition myself, the security simply stood to the side and we didn’t interfere with them. We stopped work on the platform for 15 hours, and then we left,” recalls Kumi Naidoo. The purposes were the same as they were now: force Gazprom to start a dialogue and admit that the company was not ready for extraction with observation of all the norms of safety.”


Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo also scaled the Prirazlomnaya on 24 August 2012.

Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo also scaled the Prirazlomnaya on 24 August 2012.


The environmentalists’ activism had some success: Greenpeace, together with the World Wildlife Fund, managed to obtain from Gazprom a recognition of the results of independent research by the Risk Informatis Center which analyzed 34,000 scenarios of possible accidents. It was determined that in the event that there was a leak of 100 million liters of oil, which could be held in the platform’s reservoir, the oil spill would cover up to 140,000 square kilometers of water surface, polluting 3,500 kilometers of coastline where there are nature preserves in particular.

The nearest rescue station is 1,000 kilometers from the Prirazlomnaya, but the oil can reach the preserves within 16-18 hours. If you take into account that there are no effective technologies in the world for oil-spill clean-up from ice (and no technologies at all for clean-up under the ice in winter), and Gazprom has only seven ships for eliminating spills (by comparison, in 2010, 6,000 ships were made available for the clean-up of the British Petroleum (BP) platform in 2010, the consequences of the environmental catastrophe are easy to imagine.


Drawing of actions to clean up after-math of a possible accident, provided by Gazprom Oil Shelf

Drawing of actions to clean up after-math of a possible accident, provided by Gazprom Oil Shelf


The environmentalists do not believe in the assurances of our monopolist [Gazprom] that there will not be any spills; Russia is the champion of oil leaks. According to just official statistics, in 2011, Gazprom had 872 spills at above-ground fields and pipelines. Even so, Gazprom only invested $175,000iii in insurance against environmental risks.

In 2013, Gazprom announced that all problems with safe extraction were solved, and the Prirazlomnaya was prepared to work. “In fact, a rather vague document appeared on their site with some children’s drawings as illustrations. It was funny. This didn’t persuade us that Gazprom had acquired technology they neither they nor anyone else ever had,” said Aleksei Kiselyov. That is why Greenpeace decided to repeat last year’s action at the Prirazlomnaya.


Greenpeace activists picket Gazprom office in Moscow, 25.09.2013

Greenpeace activists picket Gazprom office in Moscow, 25.09.2013


Gazprom Oil Shelf in fact is ready to cooperate with environmentalists, but only, as Gennady Lyubin, executive director of the company says, “when people can listen to each other.”

“They [the environmentalists] call the plan to eliminate oil spills unsustainable, and they say the platform does not ensure a regime of safe development of the deposit. Furthermore, they reply to any statement by saying, ‘That won’t work, this is bad, this is incorrect, you’re doing it all wrong,” the top manager told journalists.

What is At Stake?

The environmentalists have doubts not only about the environmental safety for the oil drilling in the Arctic shelf, they are skeptical about its economic rationale. “De facto, no one is trying to drill oil in the Arctic today,” says Vladimir Chuprov. “All the major international players realized that it is dangerous, expensive, and most importantly, economically ineffective.” Thus the British company Cairn Energy, which spent $1 billion on oil exploration on the coast of Greenland, closed down the project, and left with nothing. The oil giant Shell (until recently the main target of Greenpeace in the Arctic), ceased all its projects, having spent $5 billion on them. The reasons were the same: it was too dangerous and too expensive. The latest proof of the inability to guarantee work safety was the accident on the Kulluk oil platform, which was blown into the shallows by a storm on 1 January 2013.

Christophe de Marjourie, general director of the French company “Total” spoke against oil-drilling on the Arctic shelf in 2012; Sauli Niinisto, president of Finland spoke on 25 September about the need to create a nature preserve zone in the Arctic; and finally on 2 October, the Norwegian Parliament voted for a ban on oil and gas works in the Arctic. Even Leonid Fedun, vice president and a major shareholder of Lukoil stated in April 2013 in an interview with Financial Times that he would not invest a kopeck in developing the Arctic.

“Only Rosneft and Gazprom have remained in the Arctic, to be sure, in partnership with ExxonMobile, the Italian Eni and even the Norwegian Statoil,” explained Vladimir Chuprov.

What are the stakes, then? In 2008, the US Geological Survey presented a paper which stated that 13% of the world’s oil reserves – about 90 billion barrels – were contained under the Arctic ices. However it turned out that oil that Russia had long ago already successfully extracted had been included in these figures, including in the Yamalo-Nenetsk and Khanti-Mansi Autonomous Districts, and also the Republic of Komi.

“If we subtract all the above-ground deposits, then there isn’t any oil left there,” Vladimir Chuprov is certain. “At least on the territory of Russia’s exclusive economic zone. Even if we take the figures from the Ministry of Natural Development, it is a question of a maximum of 400 million tons.”

If you take into account that the overall reserves consist of 13 to 25 billion tons, you can speak about a return on investment of only about 2-3%. The prime cost of oil without calculation of the transport of it will still cost $30 a barrel, that is, three times higher than the cost of oil drilled form the ground. Today, Gazprom has already invested around $4 billion in the Arctic project, and of this, $247 million for building two tankers, the Mikhail Ulyanov and the Kirill Lavrov. “There are tankers, but no oil!” exclaimed Vladimir Chuprov. “And what should be done with that scrap metal, if it never appears?”

Environmentalists also note that the Arctic oil doesn’t have the most important thing: markets to sell it in. Europe is trying to reduce its consumption of hydrocarbons, and the slate revolution is picking up speed in the USA, so the Prirazlomnaya may await the fate of the Shtokman gas field which Gazprom was forced to close in time. “The development of the Arctic will be a second BAM,” Vladimir Chuprov said [speaking of the Baikal-Amur Mainline, a Soviet-era highway project]. “Billions of dollars will be buried under the ice without any use.”

“In general I have the impression that they don’t intend to extract anything at the Prirazlomnaya,” Andrei Kiselev, his colleague at Greenpeace repeated. “The main thing is to pump as much money as possible into the project in order to run it at your pleasure. Well, and you have to explain where the $4 billion went!”

Times Were Different”

Money doesn’t stink, of course, even of oil. But how to explain such a determined and brutal reaction by the Russian authorities to the action at Prirazlomnaya; after all, a year ago in the Pechora Sea, the authorities had let the Greenpeace activists go peacefully.


In 2012, the Greenpeace activists were not seen as pirates.


Military experts have noted that in the year that has past, the military component in Russia’s Arctic policy has sharply intensified: it has been decided to increase the struggle for “control over the Arctic” through proven methods. But the questions of national security do not presuppose dialogues with foreigners, even environmentalists; here the old Soviet principle enters into force; the border is under lock and key.

On 16 September, Vladimir Putin announced during a telephone conference at the Defense Ministry that the military base on the Novosibirsk islands (in the Laptev Sea) would be re-opened and the abandoned Temp airfield would be restored. This measure, in Putin’s words, would help to effectively control this part of the Russian Arctic. Moreover, in September a brigade of ten battleships and supply vessels for the Northern Fleet was sent to the Arctic, headed by the nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great, and completed a transfer to the archipelago of the Novosibirsk islands. All of these government measures were proclaimed as part of a wide-scale program of the Defense Ministry to renew the permanent military presence of Russia in the region.

Finally, on 3 October, at a meeting with the secretaries of the local branches of United Russia, Putin stated that the Russian government planned to support the group from the ice-breaking fleet in the region. “This region is very rich in mineral resources, that is its value,” noted Putin. At the same meeting he called the idea of Prof. Sergei Medvedev of the Higher School of Economics to transfer the Arctic to international control “complete stupidity” (witnesses say the president even called him an “idiot”).

Meanwhile, the military expert Aleksandr Golts does not link the brutal reaction of the authorities with the growing strategic significance of the region. “That the Arctic for us is one of the priority zones has been said almost since 2000. And we can recall numerous illustrative actions aimed at supporting these words – for example, the expedition to the North Pole in 2007, Artur Chilingarov’s expedition which hoisted the titanic Russian flag over the floor of the North Arctic Ocean. The Arctic itself and all these conversations about the extraction of oil and other natural resources in the region are among the magical hopes of the Russian authorities who have not coped with the obvious basic problems in the country.”

Nevertheless, Golts agrees that the arrest of the Greenpeace activists is a signal to other countries: the Arctic is ours, don’t butt in here. “Of course they are convinced that Greenpeace and other international organizations are agents of foreign intelligence.” Wherever there’s talk about geopolitics, there’s a conspiracy theory – this is the axiom in Putin’s Russia.

“Dima and his comrades will stay in jail another two months at a minimum,” says Pavel Litvinov, recalling the measures of restraint selected by the Murmansk Court regarding his son. “Dima’s mother – Maya Lvovna – is ill, she had a stroke, she is partially paralyzed, and it may happen that she will never see him again at all.” The famous dissident suddenly recalled that his environmentalist son first went to the Kola Peninsula in the perestroika era. Greenpeace at that time sent a ship with a protest action to Novaya Zemlya – there was a ship seized by the Soviet coast guard back then, just as there was now in September 2013. Everyone, including Litvinov, Jr., was handcuffed and brought to Murmansk.

“They were then released at Gorbachev’s personal order, and left Murmansk as heroes, encouraged, and I think they weren’t even held in prison then… Times were different then…,” mused Litvinov.



Route of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise.

Route of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise.


24 July Arctic Sunrise leaves Amsterdam

27-29 July Stop at Bergen in Norway

6 August Arctic Sunrise joins protest camp Nature and Youth on the Lofonten Islands where more than 400 Greenpeace activists and other environmental movements have gathered

12 August Arrival in Norwegian port of Kirkenes, near border with Russia Barents Sea.

13 August Activists in rubber rafts approached research ship Academician Lazarev and unfurled banners saying “Rosneft Kills the Arctic”

24 August Departure from Kirkenes for Kars Sea. Environmentalists embark on the expedition despite the triple ban from the administration on the North Marine Route.

26 August Kars Sea. Russian coast guard conducts an inspection of the Arctic Sunrise, demands that the ship leave the area of Russia’s exclusive economic zone.

28 August Kars Sea. Environmentalists try to conduct an action next to the ship Geologist Dmitry Nalivkin, conducting seismic testing for Rosneft and ExxonMobil. Due to the threat of warning fire, a decision is made not to hold the action. The Arctic Sunrise departs the Kars Sea and returns to Kirkenes.

14 September Departure from Kirkenes bound for Pechora Sea.

18 September Attempt to conduct the action at the Prirazlomnaya Platform owned by Gazprom. The detention of the crew by FSB agents and border guards.

24 September Arctic Sunrise brought to Murmansk, crew arrested.


Seizure of the Platform is a Violation of Russian Borders”

Viktoria Zhdanova, lead lawyer for the company Inmarin, expert on the Law of the Sea

The Greenpeace activists were charged under Art. 227, part 3 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code, “Piracy” – “attack of a sea or river vessel for the purposes of seizing another’s property, committed with the use of force or with the threat of the use of force.” This the most severe part of Art. 227 – a pirate attack committed by an organized group, or an attack which has led to the death of a person, which stipulates the most severe punishment: imprisonment for a period of 10-15 years with a fine up to 500,000 rubles.iv

Personally, I don’t see in the actions of the Greenpeace crew the crimes under this article. They also didn’t violate Art. 101 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – that convention provides a definition of piracy, which is any unlawful act of force, seizure or any theft committed for personal aims by a crew or passengers of a private ship and aimed on the open sea against another ship or against other persons or property on board. The Greenpeace activists did not try to take over another person’s property for mercenary aims, and that is precisely the main motivation for piracy. Their action did not presume the gain of personal profit or the seizure of the platform. The charging of the photographer Denis Sinyakov with these offenses looks all the more strange.


Diagram of the Prirazlomnaya

Diagram of the Prirazlomnaya


Why our law-enforcers have chosen precisely Art. 227 is incomprehensible. After all, the actions of the activists quite logically fall under another article – Art. 322 of the Russian Criminal Code – “unlawful crossing of the state border.” According to the international Law of the Sea, the waters in the region 44.5 kilometers off the coast of Russia are in the zone of Russia jurisdiction; the platform, however, is located further out, approximately 60 kilometers from the coast, that is, located in the exclusive economic zone, where rights of Russia must be observed only in the development and preservation of natural resources. Thus, foreign ships are not supposed to get special permission for free sailing in these areas. However, the Prirazlomnaya itself is the property of a Russian company. Roughly speaking, this is Russia’s territory, and the seizure of the platform is a violation of the Russian borders. Art. 322 is not as harsh as Art. 227 – it provides not only for imprisonment, but just for fines. So the activists could quite possibly be charged just with a fine of 200,000 rubles each and then released. This would be reasonable, and the punishment would fit the severity of the act.

According to the Law of the Sea, any state may seize a pirate ship and arrest the people on it. But there is also Art. 106 in this convention which says that if the ship is suspected of piracy and was seized without sufficient grounds, then the state that seized the ship must answer to the state to whom the ship belongs “for any damage, any losses caused by the seizure.” And likely Russia itself now is threatened with a wave of lawsuits, especially because there are representatives of 18 countries on board the Arctic Sunrise. The ship itself sailed under the Dutch flag, and the Netherlands are already planning to file suit against Russia.

Pirates vs. Russia

– In July 2009, on route from Finland to Algeria, the Finish ship Arctic Sea was seized by pirates. The sails of the Black Sea Fleet freed the ship south of Kabo-Berde, eight pirates were detained, and seven were charged with Art. 227, part 3 (“Piracy,” seizure of a ship by an organized group. They all received sentences from 3 to 12 years.

– On 5 May 2010 in the region of the Gulf of Aden, Somali pirates attacked the ship Moskovskiy Universitet. The crew was freed by Russian soldiers, 10 pirates were detained and one was killed. The Russian Investigative Committee opened up a criminal case under Art. 227, part 3 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Piracy” for seizure of a ship by an organized group). However all those detained were released – they did not find grounds for detention.

– On 11 November 2010, Somali pirates seized the Panamanian ship Hannibal. Among the members of the crew was one Russian citizen. The ship and crew were held hostage until March 2011, when all were released after payment of a ransom of $4 million. The Southern investigative division of the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Art. 22, part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Piracy,” seizure of a ship with use of arms.)

– On 22 November 2010, Nigerian pirates attacked the Russian tanker the NS Spirit. After robbing the ship, they went into hiding. Two members of the crew were wounded. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Art. 227, part. 3 (“Piracy,” seizure of the boat by an organized group.)

– On 8 October 2011, pirates seized the tanker Cape Bird, sailing under the flag of the Marshal Islands, off the coast of Nigeria. There were three sailors from Novorossiysk on board. After robbing the tanker, the pirates went into hiding. The Southern investigative division of the Russian Investigative Committee opened up a criminal case under Art. 227, part 3 (“Piracy,” seizure of the boat by an organized group.)

– 28 August 2012 not from the cost of Lome (in the Togolese Republic), pirates seized a Greek tanker, Energy Centurion. Almost the whole crew of the ship consisted of citizens of Russia. Pirates locked the crew in their cabins, took away their personal belongs, and seized almost three tons of petroleum products, after which they left the ship. The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Art. 227 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Piracy,” seizure of a ship with use of arms).

Greenpeace activists unfurl banner during a game of the League of Champions 1 October 2013. Gazprom is the official sponsor of the Munich team Schalke 04.

Greenpeace activists unfurl banner during a game of the League of Champions 1 October 2013. Gazprom is the official sponsor of the Munich team Schalke 04.

1939. Schalke 04 was Hitler’s favorite team.

1939. Schalke 04 was Hitler’s favorite team.


i The captain of the ship, Peter Wilcox, commanded the Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, which was sunk in 1985 off the coast of New Zealand by the French secret service. The sabotage led to the death of Fernando Pereira, an environmentalist and photographer, and then an international scandal and the resignation of French Defense Minister Charles Hernu, and the International Court obliged Paris to pay Greenpeace $8.1 million in compensation.

ii More than 90% of Greenpeace’s budget, which was €274 in 2012, is made up of private contributions from three million donors all over the world. The funds are deposited to the accounts of local Greenpeace offices which make contributions to Greenpeace International. Russian, on the contrary, is a “deficit” country; more than half of the budget of the Russian branch of Greenpeace is received from Greenpeace International.

iiiThe 2010 accident in the Gulf of Mexico cost BP $41.3 billion.

iv Or in the amount of the salary or other income of the defendant for a period of up to three years or without such.