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ST. PETERSBURG, December 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Nine of the amnestied crew members of the Greenpeace protest ship Arctic Sunrise have already left Russia, the campaign group told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“Another eight activists left today this morning,” a Greenpeace representative said, adding that some of the group were still waiting for documents necessary to cross the border. Most of those still in St. Petersburg would leave the country on Friday, the rest going home on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Russia formally dropped criminal charges against all crew aboard the ship, released under a Kremlin-backed amnesty.
The 28 activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by Russian authorities in September after they attempted to scale Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Barents Sea.
They were seized by Russian security guards and their vessel was towed to the port of Murmansk. The protesters - nationals of 18 countries and four Russians — were initially taken into custody on charges of piracy, later downgraded to hooliganism.