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Sun Oct 26 03:49:28 SAST 2014

Russia detains Greenpeace 'polar bears'

Sapa-AFP | 05 September, 2012 10:30
A Greenpeace activist poses in a polar bear suit during an action on Red Square in Moscow.
Image by: DENIS SINYAKOV / REUTERS

Russian police detained 10 international Greenpeace activists, several dressed as polar bears, as they protested against oil drilling in the Arctic.

They were protesting outside the Moscow offices of energy giant Gazprom.

"The protest has finished outside the office of Gazprom. The police detained 10 people for an unsanctioned protest," Roman Dolgov, Greenpeace Russia's coordinator of the Arctic campaign told AFP.

Police took the activists to a police station in southern Moscow, Dolgov said.

Greenpeace is carrying out a high-profile campaign against plans to drill for oil in the pristine Arctic that targets Gazprom as well as Western oil companies including Shell and Exxon.

On Wednesday, activists from Russia, Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary blocked access outside Gazprom's offices for around an hour, shouting slogans such as "Save the Arctic!", Dolgov said.

"The deep conviction of the ecologists is that oil development means the physical destruction of the (Arctic) shelf."

In August, its activists stormed Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya drilling platform in the remote Barents Sea, hanging on ropes off its sides for a day while being hosed with icy water and pelted with lumps of metal by rig workers.

A few days later on August 27, activists intercepted a Russian ship taking workers to begin drilling work to explore what is thought to be one of the world's largest untouched deposits of oil and natural gas.

"This is part of a global campaign to save the Arctic. Of course such events won't stop now. It's just one stage of the campaign. We will fight on using peaceful methods," Dolgov said.

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