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Last Foreign Greenpeace Activist Leaves Russia

Polish Greenpeace International activist Tomasz Dziemianczuk, who left Russia on December 29, displays a "Save The Arctic" banner made from a towel during his detention hearing in St. Petersburg in mid-November.
The last of the 26 foreign Greenpeace activists and crew who were detained during a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic has left Russia.

Greenpeace said in a statement on December 29 that Polish national Tomasz Dziemianczuk, 37, flew from St. Petersburg to Warsaw.

The news comes after the last of the 25 other foreign activists left Russia a day earlier.

Greenpeace quoted Dziemianczuk before he left Russia as saying, "I am very happy to be going home, but I don't feel the same for the ship and its future."

Thirty activists, including four Russians, were detained in September over the protest against oil drilling by Russian energy giant Gazprom.

They were initially charged them with "piracy" before officials suggested they would seek lesser charges of "hooliganism."

The charges against the foreign Greenpeace activists were dropped earlier this month after a Kremlin-backed amnesty.

Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL