Dec 27 2013
Five Britons detained in Russia as part of the so-called "Arctic 30" will return home to the UK today, Greenpeace has said.
The five were arrested amid claims of hooliganism following a protest about oil drilling and held in jail for two months.
They have since been granted amnesty under a new Russian law.
Greenpeace member Anthony Perrett, 32, of Newport, South Wales, will arrive in London with fellow activists Alexandra Harris and Phil Ball, crew member Iain Rogers and freelance videographer Kieron Bryan.
They left St Petersburg today and will arrive in Paris this afternoon before travelling to London's St Pancras Station on Eurostar to be met by their families, a spokesman for Greenpeace said.
A sixth Briton, activist Frank Hewetson, has also been released and is travelling to another country.
A spokesman for Greenpeace said: "After 102 days it's great to have them on the way back home. We've spoken to them and they're excited to be coming back.
"It is a relief to their families who have gone through a difficult time."
The group were detained for protesting against an Arctic offshore oil rig owned by the Russian company Gazprom.
Mr Perrett, who was the first to be released, spent Christmas Day in St Petersburg before being given the news that the Russian authorities had given him a visa and his passport.
Earlier this week he said: "We took peaceful action to defend a part of the world that is the heartbeat of our climate. The Arctic is a measure of our planet's health and I refuse to stay silent as the oil companies line up to profit from its destruction.
"Together we are saying to the oil companies that the Arctic is off limits and that we must save this beautiful region for future generations."
Mr Perrett said he was exhausted and looking forward to being home.
"It's been a very long 100 days. I'm quite eager to get back to Wales and sleep in my own bed and get back to work," he told BBC Radio 4's Today as he prepared to board the flight to the UK.
But he said the ordeal "was definitely worth it" and that he would return to Russia if needed.
"The existence of humanity on the planet - what price can you put on that?," he said, insisting he would feel the same if he had been convicted and served a long jail term.
While the activists had not been mistreated, the facility they were held in was like a concentration camp, he said.
"We faced World War Two concentration camp conditions, at times," he said.
"We weren't treated like prisoners of war. It had very much the razor wire and the barbed wire and the reinforcing bar which made up the cages. It had the aesthetic of a concentration camp, not the conditions of."