Activist says Russian seizure of Greenpeace ship was like spy movie

Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Dimitri Litvinov, one of the Greenpeace activists arrested in a demonstration at a Russian Arctic oil rig, says the incident was like a scene in a spy movie.

Litvinov, whose father Pavel was a Soviet dissident, said "big men" seized the crew at gunpoint after dropping onto the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise from a helicopter, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

Litvinov said he tried to run, but was pushed down and walked over by a soldier in combat boots.

The scene was like "something you see in a James Bond movie," he said.

After border guards searched the ship, the crew's inventory of liquor disappeared, he said.

"The next day, the guards stank of alcohol," he said.

The prison where he and 29 other activists were held for two months before they were released on bail "wasn't paradise, physically," he said. The food was terrible and showers were limited to 15 minutes a week.

While the activists worried about possible long prison terms over the hooliganism charges they face, Litvinov said "what really helped keep our sanity and morale was support from other prisoners."

He considered Russia's actions an overreaction to a non-violent protest.

A 2012 poll by the independent Levada Center found about 20 percent of Russians named the environment as a major concern. An October survey by the state-run VTsIOM found 42 percent of Russians thought Greenpeace was a stooge for foreign governments and spy agencies.

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