Protestors arrested on oil rig in the Russian Arctic

Two protestors from Greenpeace International have been arrested after scaling Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform (pictured) in Russian waters of the Arctic circle . The protestors launched on inflatable boats from the […]

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Two protestors from Greenpeace International have been arrested after scaling Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform (pictured) in Russian waters of the Arctic circle .

The protestors launched on inflatable boats from the Greenpeace International icebreaker Arctic Sunrise. The environmental group has accused the Russian Coast Guard of using disproportionate force, claiming they fired 11 warning shots across the ship’s bow and threatened to fire on the ship itself if it didn’t leave the area.

Ben Ayliffe, Head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign said: “Employing this level of force against a peaceful protest ship is completely disproportionate and should stop immediately.”

According to reports Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed that warning shots had been fired from an AK-47, along with four artillery shells, when the Arctic Sunrise refused to stop. It added two protestors had been arrested by the coast guard for “illegal activities”.

The energy company hasn’t yet issued a response to the incident.

Gazprom plans to start production on the Prirazlomnaya platform in early 2014 and Greenpeace claims it risks an oil spill in an area that’s home to polar bears, walruses and rare seabirds.

Earlier in the summer protestors from Greenpeace UK climbed the Shard to demonstrate against Shell’s drilling operations in the Arctic.