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More Questions about MV Arctic Sea

August 31, 2009

The New Zealand Herald comments on a Time Magazine article and an interview with an Estonian military officer who poses more questions about the Russian crewed MV Arctic sea, recently reported captured by pirates:

Reporter on piracy and a former commander of the Estonian armed forces, Admiral Tarmo Kouts said in an interview with TIME that only a shipment of missiles could account for Russia’s “bizarre” behaviour throughout the month long saga.

“There is the idea that there were missiles aboard, and one can’t explain this situation in any other way,” he said in the interview. “As a sailor with years of experience, I can tell you that the official versions are not realistic.”

Specifically, Time asks the following questions which only add to the mystery:

* What did the brother of one of the alleged hijackers, Dmitri Bartenev, mean when he told Estonian TV that his brother and the other suspected pirates had been “set up … They went to find work and ended up in a political conflict. Now they are hostage to some kind of political game”?

* Why would hijackers target the Arctic Sea when there were other ships carrying much more valuable cargo in waters?

* Why did Israeli President Shimon Peres pay a surprise visit to Russia a day after the ship was rescued?

* Why were destroyers and submarines used to look for a missing vessel carrying timber?

* Why did Russia wait so long to send its navy to find the ship?

* Why were 2 military-cargo planes used to carry 19 alleged pirates and crew back to Moscow?

* On arrival, why were the ship’s crew detained along with the alleged hijackers for days of questioning, with no access to their families or the media?

Here is the Time article mentioned by the Herald.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink*
    September 1, 2009 11:17 am

    The Iran connection keeps popping up, perhaps an attempt by Moscow to smuggle in advanced SAMs. The Russians are going with their original piracy charge, but the so-called hijackers are claiming they were set up.

  2. September 1, 2009 1:07 am


    Confusing doesn’t begin to cover this grande y muy especial mess! A multitude of theories seem plausible.

    Eagle1 suggests Space Aliens! He could be right, given how -whoever- rational tends to evaluate the mindset of the current occupants [well, long-term occupants] of the Kremlin… ;-)

  3. Mark permalink
    September 1, 2009 12:55 am

    So, what are the leading theories now? This is all very confusing. And how many times was the ship hijacked? The latest theory I read I think had Russians hijacking it first to illegally ship weapons to Iran, and then the Mossad hijacking it 2nd to stop the weapons, and finally the Russians retaking the ship in the end.

  4. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 31, 2009 9:09 pm

    I agree D.E.! The naval story of the year perhaps?

  5. August 31, 2009 9:05 pm


    It’s a story that isn’t dying, fur shure.

    The story of the Russian captain / master of the Arctic Sea claiming that his ship was actually a North Korean vessel will not soon allow this story to rest. There are too many other Nork activities that might connect with this one to allow them to pass unanswered.

    And I concur with your earlier comments – Tom Clancy must be green with envy over not having dreamed up something like this reality-based story; whatever the story may eventually turn out to be…

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