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Greenpeace activists have charges dropped in Russia

MOSCOW--Russia on Wednesday formally dropped criminal charges against Greenpeace activists arrested in a protest against Arctic oil drilling on Wednesday and was expected to shortly do the same for all 30, the environmental group said.

By 1200 GMT Greenpeace said it knew of the dropping of charges against 19 of the group, who are currently still in Russia on bail. The move followed the announcement of a Kremlin amnesty.

The activists will now be free to leave Russia and travel home to their families, once they secure exit visas.

Russia's treatment of the activists — who spent two months in detention and had faced hooliganism charges punishable by seven years in jail — had drawn heavy criticism from Western nations and celebrities.

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