Streetwise Professor

May 9, 2010

Lost at Sea

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 5:40 pm

It seems that the riddle-mystery-enigma aspect of Russia is no more pronounced than at sea.  The Russian Navy recaptured a tanker, the Moscow University, that had been seized by Somali pirates.  So far, so good.  But whither the pirates?

At first, Medvedev talked tough:

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had hinted Thursday at tough punishment for the pirates, saying “perhaps we should get back to the idea of establishing an international court and other legal tools” to prosecute pirates. “Until then, we’ll have to do what our forefathers did when they met the pirates,” he said.

Then a Navy spokesman said the pirates had been released back to their small craft and sent home, adding “why should we feed some pirates?”

It was all too much for Mikhail Voitenko, the editor of an online journal who gained notoriety for his calling BS on the Russian government’s statements about the Arctic Sea mystery.  Voitenko claims that the pirates were killed:

Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Russian online Marine Bulletin, said the release strained credulity and instead sparked suspicion the pirates had all been killed

“There is no more stupid version than the one that has been proposed to us — that there was no sense in dealing with the pirates and that in Russia there are no suitable laws for convicting them,” he wrote.

“If the pirates really were let go, it should have been done in the presence of journalists. If the pirates were killed, a heroic version would have to be thought up,” Voitenko said.

Speaking of the Arctic Sea, what ever happened with that? Was there a serious investigation?  What WAS the cargo?  Who did seize it?  What happened to them?  The ship became a modern day version of the Flying Dutchman.  Which is not unusual when it comes to Russia.

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  1. I guess I only saw pre PC pirate movies, what ever happened to either being keelhauled or walking the plank.

    Comment by Bob D — May 9, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

  2. Russian’s have a great love of conspiracy theories. What’s so hard to beleive about them just letting the pirates go? This is what the Dutch, Danish and Norwegians have done. Anyway, there are photos of the Russian’s detaining the pirates on the deck of the tanker – look at the articles on yahoo etc.

    Comment by Richard — May 9, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  3. Maybe the media just lost interest in the “Arcitc Sea” story… after all, it was not a particularly interesting story to begin with.

    Comment by Kacha — May 9, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  4. “Arcitc Sea” story… after all, it was not a particularly interesting story to begin with. Especially not for the Putin-mafia

    ‘Pirate’ in Arctic Sea mystery had been ‘dead’ for three years
    The story so far has resembled an over-egged John Le Carre plot, featuring everything from pirates and drug smuggling through to rumours of Russian Mafia feuds and secret plutonium shipments.

    Unanswered questions

    Lunev could have faced much longer but had agreed to plead guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors.

    While the authorities will be pleased to see these men convicted, there are still many unanswered questions about the whole Arctic Sea affair, which became one of the great mysteries of last summer, the BBC’s Richard Galpin in Moscow says.

    He adds that a lawyer representing one of the accused told the BBC last September that his client said they had been set up: that they had not hijacked the ship, instead they had been rescued by it.

    The journalist who first broke the story that the ship had gone missing fled Russia shortly afterwards, saying he had been warned to leave after suggesting it may have been carrying a secret consignment of weapons.

    The crew and their families have also been under intense pressure to keep quiet, the BBC correspondent says.

    Also last September, a senior figure close to Israeli intelligence told the BBC that Israel had been linked to the interception of the Arctic Sea.

    The source said Israel had told Moscow it knew the ship was secretly carrying a Russian air defence system for Iran. There has been no official confirmation of the report.

    Comment by Boris — May 10, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

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    Comment by TRex — May 11, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

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