Captured Pirates Presumably Dead After Russians Release Them 300 Miles From Shore Without Navigation Equipment

The Russian government was reportedly unhappy with international legal obligations in their trial of pirates captured off of Somalia — particularly with the possible demand of the pirates to stay in Moscow. Their solution? They let the pirates go . . . 300 miles from shore after removing all of their navigation equipment. They are now presumed dead.

Ten pirates were captured last week after seizing a Russian oil tanker. A government source stated “according to the latest information, the pirates who seized the ‘Moscow University’ oil tanker failed to reach the shore. Evidently, they have all died.”

While the Russians complained about “imperfections in international law,” they seem to have found a solution in essentially tossing them over the side in the middle of the ocean. Notably, other nations have not had such problems in simply trying these pirates in their courts. One such trial is currently on the way in Alexandria (here.

For the full story, click here.

22 thoughts on “Captured Pirates Presumably Dead After Russians Release Them 300 Miles From Shore Without Navigation Equipment”

  1. nope.
    Pirates are not ‘characters’. Pirates are nasty.

  2. To TomD.Arch: what food, what water? The trip is 24 hrs max even if they went diagonally instead of straight westwards.

    > “The Russians … shot them point-blank
    > then loaded their lifeless bodies back
    > on the boat,” [A pirate spokesman]
    > added

    How does he know that, if everybody was shot? Was there a webcast? Anyone discovered the boat?

    It is also interesting to watch people scold the marines for assuming the pirates were guilty before they were brought to trial, and at the same time those same people assume the marines are guilty of cold-blooded murder even before the “victims” are confirmed dead, or the curcumstances of the release are clearly established. Am I the only one who sees some double standards here?

  3. A photo of the operation to free 23 captured crewmembers and secure 86,000 tons of oil after Somali pirates hijacked the “MV Moscow University.”
    May 11, 2010
    Russian media reports say pirates released on the open sea after hijacking a Russian oil tanker last week never made it ashore and are likely dead.

    Russian officials said last week that 10 pirates accused of hijacking the “MV Moscow University” in the Gulf of Aden were set free after their capture by forces aboard a Russian warship because there were no grounds to prosecute them in Russia.

    Russian news agencies today quoted an unnamed high-level Russian Defense Ministry official as saying the pirates never made it to shore and were likely dead.

    The official said the suspects were stripped of their weapons and navigation equipment and, about 300 nautical miles (550 kilometers) from shore, were put into one of the speed boats they used in the hijacking.

    The ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

  4. A pirate spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted Somalilandpress today said at least ten of his men were executed by the Russian navy after the troopers stormed MV Moscow University.

    “The Russians commandos stormed the ship before sunrise, starting a firefight with our men, onboard they injured three of them and one was killed,” he said.

    He dismissed the Russian navy statement that the men were released because of “the absence of a legal base to carry out prosecution procedures against pirates”.

    “The Russians never released the young men instead they shot them point-blank range then loaded their lifeless bodies back on the boat,” he added.

    The Russian media reports say pirates released on the open sea after hijacking a Russian oil tanker last week never made it ashore and are likely dead.

  5. My solemn tribute to what I think should happen to each Somalia py-rat…(substitute ‘Blow the ship down’

  6. Tom, you beat me to it regarding the taking away of some of these guys previous livelihoods.
    I too though must admit to a gut feeling of “That’s the way to do it Ivan”.
    I recently read about a Somali pirate captured by the French and awaiting tial in one of their rather smelly prisons. This guy thought he’d died and gone to heaven! Three good meals a day guaranteed and an en suite toilet.
    Better than a life of piracy he seemed to think.

  7. So why, in the last few years, has piracy become a problem in this area? I doubt that whatever government there was in Somalia 10 years ago could have done much to stop this sort of thing, so what changed?

    The claim has been made that since Somalia has no functioning government to even report to the world what is going on, there has been dumping of toxic waste off their coast (the Russians have no link to that, I’m sure…) and illegal fishing by factory ships. All this adds up to a bunch of unemployed Somali coastal fishermen, with boats and hungry families, who have reason to be pissed off at the developed world. This wouldn’t morally justify piracy, but it sure seems to explain what’s going on.

    Moar – you forgot water, and possibly food, but otherwise that is exactly what I thought when I read the description. The other problem is that once you reach the coast, there are probably long stretches with little or no habitation. It’s possible that these guys are still plodding their way home – let’s hope.

  8. I know that justice demands due process for the Somali pirates, but my gut has been hoping to hear a story like this. My instinctive (admittedly unjust) response has been “just blow them out of the water.” The Russian response has a poetic justice, albeit not the legal or moral kind.

  9. Well, I can see that no one here has ever done any sailing or boating.

    300 miles is not a big deal when you’re dealing with a country that has coastline a thousand miles long. “Sail towards the sunset, or away from the sunrise” is the only navigation that they needed to know. The worst scenario is they might have ended up in Kenya or Ethiopia.

    I might also point out that the pirates have every reason to hope that the Russians think they are dead.

    Now if the Russians took their engines or fuel, that’s another issue entirely.

  10. The Russians were in a tight spot since, while The International Law of The Sea allows any nation to detain and prosecute pirates on the high seas, the rules are less clear when the pirates are captured within the territorial waters of another country. It is doubly compounded when the territorial waters are those of a failed nation-state like Somalia, wherein returning the pirates their would almost surely result in their release to pillage again. While not condoning the actions of the Russian Navy, it is likewise difficult not to conclude the pirates received some measure of “natural” justice for their crimes. Live by the blunderbuss – die by the blunderbuss, is crude but an effective deterrent sometimes. I won’t lose much sleep here.

  11. Integrity is doing the right thing even when it’s difficult. That includes being outraged rather than supportive of the Russians’ actions. Integrity is not defined by adhering to the principle of the rule of law only when it’s convenient or popular or by choosing to ignore it when dealing with unsavory characters. That’s the way teabaggers think.

  12. I will be interested to see if there are further attacks on Russian flagged ships.

  13. I saw the light, I saw the light. Land in no where near in sight. Thats one way of handling this type of dispute.

  14. Better than walking the plank in shark-infested waters, I suppose.

  15. . . .If they have enough sense to follow the Sun toward the West, they will eventually run into the coast of Africa & not be dead if they arrive before food & water run out.

  16. Sounds good to me. If they would have learned navigation they would now be alive. Brute force is always ineffective.

  17. Those pirates lost their lives at sea, which was obviously their first love.

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