TRANSCRIPT: DIA Statement for the Record – Worldwide Threat Assessment [excerpt re Russia]

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Armed Services Committee, United States Senate – Vincent R. Stewart, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency – February 9, 2016) RUSSIA Moscow continues to devote major resources to modernizing its military forces, viewing military power as critical to achieving key strategic objectives: acknowledged great power status, dominating smaller regional states and deterring NATO from military action in […]

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Arctic winter temperature rose 3 degrees since 1990

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Interfax – December 8, 2015) The average Arctic winter temperature has risen three degrees Celsius since 1990, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy told a seventh High-Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air coalition. The average ice cover in the Arctic sea has halved since 1980, he said. “Already this region is characterized by a three-degree […]

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Interfax: Russia, U.S. cooperating in telecommunications, environmental issues, access to drinking water in Arctic

Arctic Map

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Russia and the United States are cooperating in spheres of mutual interest in the Arctic Council, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador at Large, senior official in the Arctic Council Vladimir Barbin has said. “Speaking of the U.S. program, they have lots of projects Russia is interested in […]. Naturally, we will be cooperating with them,” Barbin […]

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Is Russia The King Of Arctic Oil By Default?

Arctic Map

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – October 22, 2015) To be king implies preeminence, or lasting rule. In the Arctic, such oil and gas supremacy is still little more than a dream. That dream remains alive in Russia however, and the nation – through an unmatched stubbornness and a decidedly timid field of competitors – is making a strong bid for […]

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New research shows the Arctic is warming faster than previously believed

Arctic Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yana Pchelintseva, special to RBTH – September 11, 2015) Russian scientists have found about 700 “methane holes” in the Arctic shelf. The scale of emissions shows that the permafrost has degraded severely, and researchers think the thawing is irreversible. A team of Russian scientists spent over 20 years examining thermokarst lakes – bodies […]

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RBTH: Russia waits on U.N. response over claim to extend Arctic borders

Arctic Map

After 14 years, Moscow is renewing an effort to claim a vast territory on the outer margin of the continental shelf abutting Russia’s land mass in the Arctic. What are the economic benefits of acquiring the legal rights to this underwater area and is Russia’s claim likely to be approved? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH […]

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RBTH: The battle for Arctic heats up

Arctic Map

Russian scientists say their new model for the Arctic’s tectonic evolution shows that the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges are part of the Eurasian mainland. This apparently substantiates Russia’s claim to 1.2 million square kilometers of Arctic sea shelf. At stake is control over vast natural resources, and opposition from western nations is almost certain. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – […]

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Why Putin Is Losing

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 10, 2015) Are little green men about to appear on the North Pole? Russia’s claim last week, using an extremely creative interpretation of international law, to exclusive economic rights to nearly half a million square miles of the Arctic Sea, was certainly a head scratcher. Sure the territory is valuable due to […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: As the Arctic Thaws, New Temptations

Arctic Map

The New York Times comments on Russia’s attempt to use the United Nations to expand Russian territory in the Arctic, accompanied by expanded Russian military activity in the region. As the Arctic rapidly thaws and surrenders access to its awesome wealth of energy and precious minerals, it is inevitable that nations in the far north will stake claims over huge […]

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British Explorers Aiming to Cross Bering Strait

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Stirling, Laura Ridpath – June 16, 2015) In February 2016, a team of three British men will attempt to travel across the Bering Strait by ski and kayak, traveling westward from the United States to Russia. If successful, the expedition, headed by Scotsman Mike Laird, will join eight others in completing this treacherous journey. […]

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NEWSLINK Alaska Dispatch News: Russia and US must maintain Arctic relations in an interconnected world

Arctic Map

Russia is in the news, again. NATO ministers continue to discuss how to upgrade their response capabilities to contain Russia, an increasingly unpredictable neighbor, and Pentagon officials advise Congress that Russia is a primary military threat. All the meanwhile, President Putin ramps up his military modernization effort. Could this finally be the end of strong Russia-U.S. cooperation in the one […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: Russia’s vast Arctic gas project aims to avoid Ukraine deep freeze

Arctic Map

Spread across the frozen whiteness of the Russian Arctic, the ambitious $27 billion Yamal gas megaproject aims to defy both the extreme temperatures and the Ukraine crisis impacting its funding. Some 2,500 kilometres (1,600 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Yamal site — a joint venture by Russia’s Novatek, France’s Total and China’s CNPC — is eventually meant be one of […]

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Putin Signs New Military Doctrine: Core Elements Unchanged

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 2 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 6, 2015) President Vladimir Putin has introduced a new Military Doctrine in the context of the Ukraine crisis, deteriorating relations with the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as shifts within the international security environment. […]

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Will Western Sanctions Stop Russia’s Arctic Oil Expansion?

arctic-energy

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 9, 2014) Igor Sechin, the most influential figure in Russia’s energy industry, announced last week that a new oil field discovered in the Arctic was to be christened “Pobeda” – the Russian word for victory. Speaking to reporters from a blustery drilling platform, the Kremlin heavyweight, who also heads state-owned oil […]

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Re: South shore of the Kola peninsula

Map of Russia

Subject: South shore of the Kola peninsual Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2014 14:09:31 -0500 From: William Brumfield <william.brumfield@gmail.com> David, below is announcement for the latest in my RBTH series. A stunning part of northwest Russia. Regards, William —— My current article for Russia beyond the Headlines is devoted to the south shore of the Kola Peninsula. Located near the Arctic […]

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Business New Europe: Sanctions aim at Russia’s Arctic push

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Joe Parson in Moscow – August 21, 2014) US and EU sanctions are threatening to derail a monster exploration and production project in the Russian Arctic between state-owned Rosneft and US oil major ExxonMobil. The threat is not that Washington will pressure US companies to pull out of Russian deals. Rather, the latest round […]

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Exxon’s $900 Billion Arctic Prize at Risk After Ukraine

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman – April 29, 2014) Exxon Mobil (XOM) Corp.’s dream of drilling in the Russian Arctic may risk running aground on the politics of Ukraine. The company plans to start drilling in August in the Arctic’s remote Kara Sea — the centerpiece of Exxon’s global alliance with Russian state-controlled OAO Rosneft. (ROSN) The partnership, which […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Has Sufficient Data to Prove Arctic Claim – Scientist

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

NOVOSIBIRSK, Russia, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – In the past decade, Russian scientists have gathered enough scientific evidence to substantiate the country’s territorial claim for hydrocarbon-rich areas of the Arctic shelf, a leading Russian scientist said Tuesday. Valery Vernikovsky of the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics said a UN commission rejected Russia’s previous claim in the early 2000s […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Who controls the Arctic?

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrey Gubin, special to RBTH – April 23, 2014) Andrey Gubin is the head of research programs at the Asia-Pacific Center of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. International competition for control over Arctic resources is only a matter of time, says researcher Andrey Gubin. The Arctic has recently gained a new significance […]

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Changes in Regulations Could Help Break the Offshore Ice

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – February 3, 2014) State-controlled oil giant Rosneft had a very good year. That is what company chief executive Igor Sechin told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday at a meeting to review Russia’s largest oil producer, whose capitalization grew by 18 percent to $73 billion at the end of 2013. Sechin’s optimism […]

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Russian Navy to Expand Air Patrols in Arctic

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, January 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Combat aircraft from Russia’s Northern Fleet will extend the ranges of their patrol flights over the Arctic in 2014 using a network of revamped Soviet-era airfields, the fleet’s spokesman said Friday. “In 2014, the naval aviation of the Northern Fleet will significantly expand the geography of Arctic patrol flights, including with the use of […]

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Russia to study Arctic oil, gas prospects in shelf border extension

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) – Russia is looking to study oil and gas prospects as it prepares to extend its Arctic shelf borders. Subsurface resources agency Rosnedra has already announced – on the state procurement portal – a tender for the selection of an outfit to evaluate the prospects of oil and gas fields on Russia’s continental shelf beyond the […]

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Seven Greenpeace Activists Allowed to Leave Russia

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – December 26, 2013) As the last Greenpeace activist detained in the Arctic 30 protest   received notification Thursday that he was cleared of all charges under a recently passed amnesty, several other international activists who’d already been granted amnesty received permission to leave Russia. The news marks the end of a saga that […]

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Interfax: Russia won’t give away North Pole – Chilingarov

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

TULA. Dec 12 (Interfax) – Russia will not give the North Pole to countries, which have claimed their rights to it, polar explorer, Federation Council member Artur Chilingarov said. “We will not give the North Pole to anyone. Canada’s claims for the North Pole are nothing but an ambition,” he said at a Tula meeting dedicated to the Constitution Day […]

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Russian military returns to the Arctic

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – December 12, 2013) Russia intends to deploy a military force on its northern coast to engage in the fight for control over promising oil and gas reserves in the Arctic Ocean. Russia will send a military force to be set up in the Artic next year in order to […]

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NEWSLINK: Rushing for the Arctic’s Riches

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

[Rushing for the Arctic’s Riches – New York Times – Michael T. Klare – December 8, 2013 – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/opinion/sunday/rushing-for-the-arctics-riches.html] Michael Klare and the New York Times address Russia’s temptation to exploit Arctic energy resources: While many existing oil and gas reserves in other parts of the world are facing steep decline, the Arctic is thought to possess vast untapped reservoirs. […]

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Interfax: Margelov: Russia needs sufficient potential to defend its geopolitical interests in Arctic

Mikhail Margelov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Russia must be prepared to confront international rivalry in the Arctic, which is a priority of its geopolitical agenda, Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov told Interfax. “This is a topical agenda considering the expected effects of global warming on the Arctic zone. It is necessary to maintain the combat potential of the […]

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40 Years On, Polar Bears and Threats to Their Habitat are Multiplying

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – December 5, 2013) Environment ministers and delegations from the five countries bordering the Arctic met in Moscow on Wednesday to voice continuing support for polar bear conservation and outline steps for saving the species, which activists and officials say is increasingly vulnerable to the effects of global warming and resource extraction. Representatives […]

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RIA Novosti: Polar Bear Population Could Drop Two-Thirds by 2050 – Minister

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) ­ The number of polar bears in the Arctic could drop by two-thirds by 2050 because of poaching, pollution and global warming, Russia’s natural resources and ecology minister said Wednesday. Speaking at the International Forum on the Conservation of Polar Bears, Sergei Donskoi said that active industrial development in the Arctic in recent decades is […]

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Interfax: Militarization of Arctic region is overdramatized – Russian experts

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) – Experts of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) see no reason to speak about the militarization or a threat of military confrontation in the Arctic region. “This is taken as part of usual measures of each state to ensure its interests, including the military element,” RIAC president Igor Ivanov told a news conference in Moscow […]

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RIA Novosti: Last Imprisoned Greenpeace Activist Granted Bail in Russia

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) ­ The last of the Greenpeace activists arrested in Russia over a September protest at an Arctic oil rig was granted bail Thursday by a St. Petersburg court. The court set bail for Colin Russell from Australia at 2 million rubles ($60,000), the same condition set for the other 29 crew members, who were all […]

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RIA Novosti: Arctic Made Priority for Russian Navy in 2014

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian naval forces are set to make the Arctic a priority region, boosting combat training and scouting lesser-known areas of the icy territory in 2014, a navy spokesman said Monday. The Northern Fleet will conduct sailing and diving expeditions in the Arctic and develop a series of ice-class patrol ships to protect the country’s […]

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Interfax: Greenpeace has noble goals but wrong methods – Putin

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – The actions of the Greenpeace environmentalists who tried to climb an oil platform in the Arctic posed a threat to the lives of the people who are working there, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “When they climb the platform and create an emergency situation, there could be not just one mistake of an operator but […]

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RIA Novosti: Detained Greenpeace Activists Deserve Clemency – Putin

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW, November 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Greenpeace activists detained in Russia over a protest at an Arctic oil rig should be granted clemency, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday as 10 of them were released and many others granted bail. When asked to comment on their case at a meeting with Russian writers, publishers, critics and booksellers, Putin said […]

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Putin Adviser Sees Political Will to End Greenpeace Dispute

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – November 19, 2013) Russia is showing “political will” to end a two-month-long dispute over the prosecution of Greenpeace activists after they began to be set free on bail, President Vladimir Putin’s human rights adviser said. “It’s a good sign,” Mikhail Fedotov said in a phone interview today from Moscow. “I hope the same […]

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Interfax: Lawyers say custody conditions of Arctic Sunrise activists acceptable

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Lawyers have met with several Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise activists in a St. Petersburg detention facility, a Greenpeace spokesman told Interfax on Thursday. “The lawyers met with five environmentalists, including Russian citizen Andrei Allakhverdov, who had been placed into the Kresty [detention facility]. The detention facility is basically all right, and the conditions are acceptable. […]

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Interfax: Kremlin rights council asks Investigative Committee head to change pre-trial restrictions of Greenpeace activists

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The Russian president’s Human Rights Council has asked Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin to consider the possible release of the Arctic Sunrise crewmembers who were detained for staging a protest off Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Pechora Sea from custody. “The Russian president’s Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights is […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Unprepared for War in Arctic

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, November 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia is unprepared for a war in the Arctic, a government report says. The country, which has the longest Arctic border, would be unable to quickly respond to an attack in the area, the Regional Development Ministry said in an assessment of risks to economic interests in the Far North. Russia’s northern border checkpoints […]

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Arctic resources: Any competitors in sight for Russia?

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Karnaukh, special to RBTH – November 1, 2013) Many countries would like to tap into the Arctic’s vast hydrocarbon resources, but Russia is the only nation so far to have risked hefty investments in the region. Experts wonder whether Moscow will be successful in selling Arctic oil at $200 or more per […]

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Greenpeace Rebuffs Talk of Arctic Protest Conspiracy

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – November 1, 2013) In early October, Rosneft head Igor Sechin made a brief, enigmatic comment suggesting that there was more than meets the eye behind a Greenpeace protest Sept. 18 against a Gazprom oil rig in the Arctic, an action that resulted in the arrest of 30 people and a black eye […]

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Moscow Times: Russians See Greenpeace Protest as a Foreign Plot

Polar Map of Major Rail Lines in Russia, Canada and United States, With Hypothetical Additional Route Drawn In Connecting Them Across Bering Strait

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 29, 2013) State pollster VTsIOM released survey results Monday regarding last month’s Greenpeace protest in the Arctic that indicate more than a third of Russians believe the protest was a foreign plot and more than two-thirds disagree with the group’s message of needing to protect the environment from oil drilling. Armed […]

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Russia Softens Charge in Greenpeace Case

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Goryachev and Christopher Brennan – October 24, 2013) The Investigative Committee said it had dropped the piracy charges against 30 people who were on board Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship, replacing them with accusations of hooliganism. If convicted of the new charges, the 28 activists and two journalists who were taken into custody in September […]

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Gazprom’s Bric-a-Brac Rig Called a Risk to the Arctic

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 24, 2013) Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya platform, the advance guard of the coming expansion of Russia’s state energy corporations into the Arctic, is a cobbled together bric-a-brac of second-hand parts, some of which date to 1984, environmentalists said. The very presence of the Prirazlomnaya rig in the icy Pechora Sea is the result […]

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Most Russians Believe Arctic Should Remain Neutral – Poll

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 19, 2013) More than two thirds of Russians believe that Arctic territories should not belong to any state, a poll carried out by the Kremlin-backed pollster Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) said on Friday. Only 17 percent of respondents said the Arctic territories should be divided between states, while 69 percent are convinced that the territories […]

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Pressure Growing on Putin to Free Greenpeace Activists

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 18, 2013) International pressure on Russia over the arrest of Greenpeace activists mounted Thursday as 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners urged President Vladimir Putin to drop the piracy charges against them. The 11 laureates made such an appeal in a letter sent to the Russian president, Greenpeace said. The letter, which […]

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Human rights council will ask prosecutor general to drop piracy charge against Arctic Sunrise crew – Fedotov

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 10, 2013) The piracy charges, based on which the crew of the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise was arrested, are ungrounded and should be reconsidered, Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the presidential human rights council, said. “I hope this decision will be reconsidered. In any case, we will turn to the prosecutor general. He has potential for […]

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Moscow Times: Majority of Russians Think Greenpeace Arrests Appropriate

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 3, 2013) The majority of Russians approve of the piracy charges against 28 Greenpeace activists who were detained in late September after trying to climb an Gazprom-owned oil drilling rig in the Arctic to protest its environmental impact. A survey from state pollster VTsIOM published Wednesday showed that 60 percent of the respondents believe […]

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Russia Pushes for Further Arctic Exploitation

Polar Bear on Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – September 26, 2013) It is impossible to stop Arctic exploitation, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, adding that Russia guaranteed that there would be no environmental catastrophe, since the most innovative technologies would be used. SALEKHARD, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District ­ The time for an industrial breakthrough has come in the Arctic, President Vladimir […]

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