Russia’s Weapons In The Woods

Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea.Greenpeace/AFP/File Ottawa (AFP) Canadian consular officials are pressing Russia for answers about the detention of two Canadians among 30 activists held for protesting oil drilling in the Arctic, officials said Thursday. “Consular services are being provided to the two Canadian citizens,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Beatrice Fenelon told AFP. Canadian officials are also “seeking further information about the detentions from local Russian authorities,” she added. Russian border guards took control of the Dutch-flagged Greenpeace protest ship Arctic Sunrise and locked up the activists on Tuesday after they attempted to scale state energy giant Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform in protest over exploration in the Barents Sea. The border guards fired warning shots and detained two activists under armed guard, according to Greenpeace. After sliding down ropes from helicopters, the guards seized the vessel then towed the ship to the port of Murmansk, where the activists were held for questioning. On Thursday, a Russian court ordered several of the activists detained for two months for alleged piracy, including Paul Ruzycki from Canada, and was expected to rule on the others soon. The captain of the ship, US citizen Peter Willcox, was also given the same term. The veteran activist captained Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior ship when it was bombed by French agents in 1985. Greenpeace said another Canadian, Alexandre Paul, was also being detained pending a court appearance in the northern port city. The non-governmental group’s Canadian office said it has requested a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird but has not heard back. Baird has pointed to Greenpeace’s past “provocative actions on the high seas.” “Obviously, it needs to follow all the specific rules and regulations with respect to navigation,” he added.

Canada presses Russia on Greenpeace detentions

In an interview with Arizona’s KLTV , Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at Banner’s Poison Control Center, said the U.S. now had its first two recorded cases of the use of Desomorphine, also known as “krokodil.” The drug is made using readily available codeine, mixed with other ingredients such gasoline, paint thinner, iodine, hydrochloric acid, and red phosphorous. It is often used as a substitute for heroin, as it has roughly similar effects but is three times cheaper than the opiate, and it is far easier to obtain Shelly Mowrey, a substance abuse and prevention expert, told ABC 15 that it can take just thirty minutes to cook . However, the drug is believed to be even more dangerous than heroin and has disturbing side effects. The drug’s nickname a transliteration of the Russian word for “crocodile” comes from one side effect users experience: green, scaly skin at the site of injection. Gangrene and amputations are common, while fleshy tissue is eaten away by the acidic chemicals. The prospects for users are exceptionally dire. “Desomorphine kills all of its victims and it kills them very quickly,” one doctor told Pravda.ru . “A heroin addict may live up to six or seven years. The life of a desomorphine addict is much shorter two years maximum. Some may take it for five years, but many people die after taking their first dose of this drug.” These side effects and the low survival rate of users have given the drug a notorious reputation. Disturbing images of krokadil users can be found on numerous sites online ( here’s one , but be warned the images are extremely graphic). According to an article from Time Magazine, the drug appears to have originated from Siberia and Russia’s Far East in 2002.

Russia’s Horrifying Flesh-Eating Drug ‘Krokodil’ Reportedly Spreads Into The United States

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BY JOHN REED | SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 Russia is holding its annual celebration of military hardware this week in the Ural Mountain town of Nizhny Tagil. The Russian Arms Expo 2013, which lasts from Sept. 25 through 28, is held to promote Russia’s $14-billion arms industry. This year’s show boasts more than 400 exhibitors from 50 countries and, according to the shows promoters, is one of the largest weapons shows held in Russia. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended the show’s grand opening to watch the fanfare which included such grand displays as MiG-29 fighter jet flybys and demonstrations of Russia’s newest armored vehicles. The prime minister toured the exhibition making hands-on inspections while rubbing elbows with soldiers, arms dealers, and, apparently, priests. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin was also there, calling for a new generation of “intelligent” and “unconventional” Russian weapons for land, air, sea, and space. Since 1999, the Russian Arms Expo (RAE) has been held nine times at the Staratel test range at the Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metal Testing’s (NTIIM). According to the RAE’s official website , the show’s primary purpose is to “promote Russian military equipment, arms and ammunition to both domestic and foreign markets.” What follows is a collection of all the show had to offer so far — from 1980s-vintage fighter jets to a new armored vehicle called the “Terminator.” Above, Russian Orthodox priests hang out in the tank pavilion. It’s unclear if the priests attended the RAE in any official capacity. Perhaps they were blessing the tanks. Corbis