Paul McCartney Attempts to Charm Putin into Releasing Greenpeace Prisoners

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Paul McCartney is trying to charm Russian president Vladimir Putin into releasing imprisoned Greenpeace activists the best way he knows how: referencing The Beatles’ hit “Back in the U.S.S.R.”

McCartney posted an open letter to his website today (Nov. 14) assuring Putin that the 28 activists from Greenpeace that were placed in jail last month after they staged a protest at a Russian oil-drilling platform in the Arctic Ocean are neither anti-Russia nor working on behalf of the western governments.

“In my experience they tend to annoy every government! And they never take money from any government or corporation anywhere in the world,” McCartney wrote. “And above all else they are peaceful. In my experience, non-violence is an essential part of who they are.”

In the letter, which takes a friendly tone and is addressed to “Vladimir,” McCartney writes that the protestors do not think they are “above the law,” and hopes that the President couldn’t intervene and help get them released.

“They say they are willing to answer for what they actually did,” McCartney writes. “So could there be a way out of this, one that benefits everybody?”

He ends his note by pulling at Putin’s heartstrings, writing, “Forty-five years ago I wrote a song about Russia for the White Album, back when it wasn’t fashionable for English people to say nice things about your country. That song had one of my favourite Beatles lines in it: ‘Been away so long I hardly knew the place, gee it’s good to be back home.’ Could you make that come true for the Greenpeace prisoners?”

In a preface to the post, McCartney writes that the Russian Ambassador, as of now, has not responded to his letter, but he still hopes that the situation can be resolved so that the protestors can go home in time for Christmas.

Earlier this year, McCartney wrote to Putin on behalf of the jailed members of Pussy Riot, asking him to free the two women.

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