Activist home at last after Russian trauma

GREENPEACE activist Colin Russell has arrived back in Tasmania after being held in Russia for three and a half months.

The 59-year-old Woodbridge man arrived at Hobart Airport late last night with wife Chrissie and daughter Maddie.

"It's been a good New Year for me," Mr Russell said.

He was granted an exit visa from Russia six days ago and returned to Australia via Greenpeace international headquarters in Amsterdam.

"I felt freedom for the first time in three months," he said.

"I said all along that I would not realise what had happened until I was home - maybe over the next few weeks."

Mr Russell said he did not regret taking part in the action and would resume work with Greenpeace mid-year.

But in the meantime he was looking forward to spending a few months at home and seeing his dog.

"Maybe I won't be doing naughty things in Russian waters for a while," he said.

He spent 71 days in detention after being arrested by Russian authorities aboard the protest ship Arctic Sunrise on September 19.

The harrowing experience left him several kilos lighter.

The group, known as the Arctic 30, received amnesty for charges of piracy last month.

His family, who joined him in Russia when he was bailed in late November, said they were proud of his actions and were relieved to have him home.

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