Russia Greenpeace types will get hit by Putin, but he'll use them as an example
As a former Moscow Bureau chief (for the Times of London) my two cents on the Greenpeace activists is this: Grow up and get out. Don't hold me to it though!
This is ultra quick -- which is why I have this blog space on my site. Anyway, the Greenpeace activists are stuck up in jail in Murmansk. Great way to improve your Russian! That said, and speaking with the relatives in mind, you have family and friends who are worried about you.
Here's what I think I know about modern Russia, and you. First, about you, and your friends. Don't try it on with people like Vladimir Putin. It's not the Guardian crossword. His people will kill you if they have to. And they will shrug their shoulders, have a sandwich and never think about you again. Be glad you're known quantities. People have had their brains blown out for far less. Really.
Second, Putin's people know the West better than you do. It's politics. Russia doesn't care about being loved, but it needs to be respected. Whatever you may think about "the cause", your best chance is to get this whole issue buried and let the diplomats pull you out, while none of your sandal wearing friends ever make the same mistake again. (Harsh words; but true)
Finally, use argument not force. That's a general rule. You don't even consider that you might be wrong, do you? Trying to stop a lawful operation by the Russian fleet is just fine... if you want to end up dead or incarcerated!
Russians are very nice people, really. But don't end up in jail there.
Finally, I hope you get out of this. But do grow up, in every respect.
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