Greenpeace Pirates? Russia Loses Another International Pr War

Russia’s Olympic flame under fire after failures

One of the Olympic torches rises in front of a poster with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic logo just outside the Red Square in Moscow, on October 7, 2013

The Arctic Sunrise was a floating United Nations. From the far side of the globe: in Sao Paulo, Brazil, protesters on Oct. 5 hold signs in Portuguese that read Free the 30, and Free Ana Paula. Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel is the Brazilian Greenpeace activist charged with piracy. Photo: AP/Andre Penner Kremlin strategists come from the school of state-controlled journalism. Consequently, they missed a basic element of Journalism 101 in the West: look for the local angle. Now held in Russian jails and charged with piracy are crewmembers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. Dont be surprised if there is regular coverage and stinging anti-Kremlin editorials in such far flung newspapers like Folha de Sao Paulo, The Toronto Globe and Mail, and The Australian. You may not be familiar with these newspapers, but rest assured that they are very well known by the Foreign Ministries of Brazil, Canada and Australia. On Saturday, Greenpeaces international machinery swung into action. The group said that it held 100 Free the Arctic 30 protests around the world. They say the one in front of the Russian embassy in London drew 800 people. So far, the Kremlins attitude is: Who cares? In Hong Kong, Greenpeace activists demonstrate in front of the Russian consulate general. Photo: AP/ Vincent Yu The day after the protests, Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft, the state oil company, told reporters, referring to Greenpeace protesters: See who is paying them, who is their sponsor. Greenpeace responded by saying their sponsors are their 2.9 million members and contributors worldwide.

Kosenko, one of 28 people arrested after clashes broke out between demonstrators and police at a protest on May, 6, 2012, the eve of President Vladimir Putins inauguration for a third term, has been convicted of calling for mass riots and sent for forced psychiatric treatment. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) View Larger A police officer releases handcuffs from Mikhail Kosenko as he is placed in a defendants’ cage at a district court in Moscow, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. Kosenko, one of 28 people arrested after clashes broke out between demonstrators and police at a protest on May, 6, 2012, the eve of President Vladimir Putins inauguration for a third term, has been convicted of calling for mass riots and sent for forced psychiatric treatment. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) Sponsored Links The Associated Press MOSCOW A protester arrested after a mass anti-Kremlin demonstration last year was found guilty Tuesday of beating a policeman and sent for forced psychiatric treatment, a ruling human rights activists decried as a return to the Soviet practice of using punitive psychiatry against dissidents. Mikhail Kosenko was one of 28 people rounded up after clashes broke out between protesters and police on the eve of Vladimir Putin ‘s inauguration for a third term as Russia’s president. Kosenko was diagnosed in 2001 with mild schizophrenia, but his condition was controlled by medication and he had never shown any aggression, according to a statement from Human Rights Watch. The prosecution, however, said a psychiatric evaluation found that Kosenko was unable to realize the “public danger of his actions” due to a “chronic mental disorder.” Human Rights Watch not only objected to the use of forced psychiatric treatment but also questioned the charges brought against Kosenko. “The majority of the evidence, including from the police officer himself, indicates that Kosenko never touched him,” Tanya Lokshina, the rights group’s Russia program director, said in the statement. Kosenko was among tens of thousands who took part in the protest on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on May 6, 2012. He was arrested in July 2012 and has remained in custody ever since. The court refused his appeals for release, including denying his request to attend his mother’s funeral last month. Since returning to the presidency, Putin has cracked down on street protests and other demonstrations of dissent.

Russia protester gets forced psychiatric treatment

Torchbearers ‘kiss’ with their torches to pass the Olympic flame during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympi “Any normal person has a few questions: why were there 16,000 torches made? How much does each one cost? Is the price adequate? Finally, why don’t they work?” a group member and pro-Kremlin deputy Mikhail Starshinov asked. A spokesman for KRASMASH, a manufacturer in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk that produced the torches confirmed that 16,000 torches were made. “According to the agreement with the (Sochi) Organising Committee we don’t have the right to give out any information about the torches besides the confirmation that we made them,” he told AFP. The factory is known as the maker of ballistic missiles for Russian submarines as well as parts for the Proton rocket used in the country’s space programme. There was no tender process for the torch-making contract and it’s not clear why the factory was picked for the job. Some of the torches made for the relay have already been put up for sale on various Russian websites. One seller in the Siberian city of Chita, where the relay is set to pass through, offered a torch on the website Molotok.Ru, the Russian version of Ebay. So far only one bidder has made an offer of 40,000 rubles (about $1,200/900 euros). The nearly metre-long torch is made of aluminium and weighs 1.8 kilogrammes, with the weight also having caused some complaints. “The construction of the torch ensures that the flame burns reliably in difficult conditions, such as strong winds, heavy frosts, or any surprises that a Russian winter can throw up,” the Sochi Organising Committee website says. Olympic torches Although the NBA is typically considered a North American league, its greatest source of fandom (per capita) likely comes from the relatively small island nation of the Philippines.