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Jailing Greenpeace activists will harden attitudes to Russia

Former Fellow Angelina Davydova writes:

Russia's overreaction in prosecuting Greenpeace protesters, including the two journalists, is set to unfold into an international scandal that will seriously damage country's global reputation.

So far the situation is that 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance photographers (one British, one Russian) will remain in custody in Murmansk for the next two months, on charges of piracy. The international reaction was muted at first. Despite worldwide public outrage, only the governments of Argentina and Ukraine voiced their protest. Finland, for example, while still opposing the charges of piracy, unofficially agrees the Finnish activist arrested (she was one of the few who actually made it onboard the platform) could serve her sentence at home.

Yet to what extent Russia is willing to yield to international pressure remains open. Domestically, public opinion is split on the matter. The state-controlled media has conducted a defensive campaign against foreign influence in Russia or any interference in the vital oil and gas sector, an industry considered sacred under the current state capitalism regime...

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