Russian oligarch yachts scrambling for safe havens amid seizures

‘Pier’ pressure got to them.

A fleet of superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs are scrambling for safe havens – a desperate flight that comes amid extraordinary global pressure to seize and squeeze owners’ assets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russians own up to 10 percent of the global fleet of mega-yachts, according to SuperYachtNews. The oligarchy is especially fond of obnoxious showboats with over-the-top amenities straight from a James Bond thriller, including submarines, helicopter hangars, underwater observation decks and “anti-paparazzi” technology meant to prevent passengers from being photographed.

France has seized one of these vessels, with two more held by Italian authorities, while the status of another Russian superyacht in Germany is in dispute. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced on Wednesday the Bringing Oligarch Accountability Through Seizure (BOATS) Act which specifically targets Russian superyachts.

Many of the majestic vessels are hiding in or headed for Maldives, which has no extradition agreement with the USA. Russian yachts are often found in Seychelles, long favored as an international tax haven for the superwealthy. One is there now, with another reportedly on its way, according to VesselFinder.com. The destinations of others are unknown.

Graceful, 262 feet, $ 100 million

Owner – Vladimir Putin, 69, President of Russia

Putin yacht comp
Putin’s yacht features a 50-foot-long indoor pool.
AP; Reuters

Net worth – estimated $ 200 billion, which would make him the wealthiest man in the world

Last known location – Kaliningrad, Russia

Amenities – dance floor that opens to reveal a 50-foot-long indoor pool.

Putin tipped his geopolitical hand when Graceful slipped away from Hamburg, Germany for Russia on the eve of the Ukraine invasion. His luxury cruiser was designed in London and its maritime signal was reportedly hacked recently, with the vessel’s name changed to FCKPTN.

Eclipse, 530 feet, $ 700 million

Owner – Roman Abramovich, 55, financier

Roman Abramovich comp
Abramovich’s yacht enjoyed the distinction for many years of the world’s largest superyacht.
MEGA; BACKGRID

Net worth – $ 13 billion

Last known location – Sailing northward about 35 miles west of Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

Amenities – room for three helicopters, two restaurants, plus a high-tech “anti-paparazzi” system designed to disrupt efforts to photograph passengers or its crew of 70.

The long-time Putin confidante’s stunning vessel boasts nine decks and enjoyed the distinction for many years of world’s largest superyacht. Abramovich is facing intense personal pressure because of his prominence in the soccer world. He put English Premier League club and reigning European champ Chelsea on the market this week for $ 4 billion.

Dilbar, 511 feet, $ 800 million

Owner – Alisher Usmanov, 68, steel and mining

Usmanov comp
The vessel is reportedly the world’s largest superyacht by interior space and volume.
BACKGRID; Reuters

Net worth – $ 18 billion

Last known location – Hamburg, Germany

Amenities – two helipads, a crew of 100, a range of 6,000 nautical miles and the largest indoor pool ever placed on a yacht, at more than 6,300 cubic feet.

Dilbar, named for Usmanov’s mom, is spectacular even by oligarch standards, reportedly the world’s largest superyacht by interior space and volume (16,000 tons). Video of the giant ship at sea, dwarfing the yachts around it, has generated 1 million views on YouTube. There are conflicting reports on whether it was seized last week by German authorities or is merely undergoing repairs in Hamburg.

Ocean Victory, 459 feet, $ 300 million

Owner – Victor Rashnikov, 73, steel

Rashnikov comp
The yacht has recently been seen in the Maldives.
Sergei SavostyanovTASS via Getty Images

Net worth – $ 9.1 billion

Last known location – Maldives

Amenities – helicopter hangar, tender dock, six pools and an underwater observation suite for admiring aquatic life below.`

Russian businessman Victor Rashnikov's luxury yacht
Ocean Victory dwarfs other boats surrounding it.
Ali Rza Akkir / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The largest of the oligarch yachts, as of Thursday, seen in and around Maldives, according to Bloomberg News. The tender dock can be flooded and anchored, allowing lesser yachts to pull up and float among Ocean Victory’s glory.

Le Grand Bleu, 370 feet, $ 150 million

Owner – Eugene Shvidler, 57, oil

Eugene Shvidler comp
Shvidler once anchored his superyacht in front of the Statue of Liberty for two months.
Richard Harbus for NY Post; Reuters

Net worth – $ 1.6 billion

Last known location – Saint Maarten

Amenities – aquarium, landing craft with Land Rover 4 × 4 for onshore excursions, and a “veritable arsenal of tenders and watertoys” according to Boat International, including two sports boats capable of speeding across the water at 60 knots (69 MPH).

The oil magnate made New York City’s ‘shvit’ list in 2017, when he anchored his superyacht in front of the Statue of Liberty for two months, denying countless tourists from around the world a precious American photo op. A “jackass move” The Post called it. Shvidler, a Russian-born US citizen, reportedly won the vessel in a high-stakes wager against his best pal Abramovich in 2006. Le Grand Bleu was crafted “to look like a Mercedes” on the water, said superyacht designer Stefano Pastrovich.

Sea Rhapsody, 216 feet, $ 65 million

Owner – Andrey Kostin, 65, chairman of VTB Bank

Kostin comp
Kostin’s yacht is available for charter out of Seychelles for $ 660,000 per week.
Alamy; AP

Net worth – $ 500 million

Last known location – Gulf of Suez, destined for Seychelles

Amenities – gym, infinity pool, cinema, and an array of splashy toys: wave runners, water skis, paddle boards, kayaks, waterslides, towable tubes and a “range of children’s beach toys and games.”

Kostin yacht
Kostin’s yacht includes an infinity pool.
oceanindependence.com

Looking for a family vacation? Sea Rhapsody is available for charter out of Seychelles for just $ 660,000 per week, with room to sleep 12 people in six state rooms.

Clio, 238 feet, $ 65 million

Owner – Oleg Deripaska, 54, Rusal founder

Oleg Deripaska comp
Deripaska has publicly protested Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
AP; ZUMA Press

Net worth – $ 4 billion

Last known location – Maldives

Amenities – cozy sun-splashed piano lounge that seats at least 12.

Deripaska, once Russia’s richest man, is one of the few oligarchs to publicly protest Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. He also ran afoul of American authorities, losing a 2019 lawsuit against the Treasury Department after it sanctioned him on charges of meddling in US elections. Clio’s manufacturer, Lurssen, claims the vessel is “designed for long voyages around the world and self-sufficient living for several months at a time.” It reportedly arrived in Maldives Monday.

Putin and Deripaska
Putin and Deripaska are seen together in 2017.
Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File

Lady Anastasia, 157 feet, $ 7.7 million

Owner – Alexander Mijeev, 60, weapons industry executive

Alexander Mijeev comp
A Ukrainian crew member sabotaged Mijeev’s vessel last week.
Newsflash

Net worth – unknown

Last known location – Mallorca, Spain

Amenities – dramatic jacuzzi on top deck above the bridge.

A minnow by the standards of superyacht leviathans, the Lady Anastasia brought global attention to the fate of the oligarch fleet when a Ukrainian crew member sabotaged the vessel last week. Taras Ostapchuk, 55, was taken into custody in Mallorca. “My boss is a criminal who sells weapons that kill the Ukrainian people,” the freedom fighter told authorities.

Sailing Yacht A, 469 feet, $ 600 million

Owner – Andrey Melnichenko, 49, chemicals, coal

Melnichenko comp
Melnichenko’s yacht features three composite masts that tower above the deck more than a football field in height,
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP via Getty Images

Net worth – $ 19.8 billion

Last known location – Trieste, Italy

Amenities – elevators and, allegedly, its own submarine for underwater exploration – or escape.

Sailing Yacht A compensates for lack of imagination in its name with jaw-dropping futuristic design, including three composite masts that tower above the deck more than a football field in height, believed to be the largest in the world. Melnichenko’s smaller boat, the 390-foot, $ 300 million Motor Yacht A, features gaudy bathroom faucets worth about $ 40,000 each, according to ClubYacht.net.

Anna, 360 feet, $ 250 million

Owner – Dmitry Rybolovlev, 55, fertilizers, sports

Rybolovlev comp
Rybolovlev’s vessel is the largest superyacht ever built in the Netherlands.
ZUMA Press; AP

Net worth – $ 6.7 billion

Last known location – Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Amenities – two distinct helipads, gym and elegant state room with porch for formal oceanview dining.

Rybolovlev’s yacht features a helipad.
Balint Porneczi / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The extraordinarily sleek, streamlined vessel with military-style designs claims the honor of largest superyacht ever built in the Netherlands. It has the ability to sail 4,500 nautical miles without refueling. Anna named for the Rybolovlev’s daughter.

Royal Romance, 303 feet, $ 200 million

Owner – Viktor Medvedchuk, 67, Ukrainian politician

Medvedchuk comp
Medvedchuk is a close friend and ally of Putin.
AP; ZUMA Press

Net worth – $ 1 billion

Last-known location – Rijeka, Croatia

Amenities – 40-foot pool that feeds onboard waterfall, plus four sun-splashed platforms wrapped in glass.

Medvedchuk, a traitor in his homeland, is a close friend and ally of Putin. The Russian president is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s teenage daughter Daryna. The Ukrainian bureaucrat was accused of treason by his nation’s government and placed on house arrest in May. Royal Romance is “a fantastic looking ship,” gushed one yacht enthusiast as she gingerly docked on the Spanish island of Ibiza.

Medvedchuk Putin
Medvedchuk is considered a traitor in his homeland of Ukraine.
© Alexei Druzhinin / TASS via ZUMA Press

Nerd, 465 feet, $ 500 million

Owner – Alexei Mordashov, 56, Severstal chairman

Mordashov comp
The operating cost of Mordashov’s vessel is estimated to be between $ 40 million to $ 50 million per year.
Getty Images; ZUMA Press

Net worth – $ 25.8 billion

Last known location – Seychelles

Amenities – helicopter hangar, two elevators, gym, sauna and cinema.

The newest superyacht in the oligarch armada, built by Lurssen, was completed and delivered to Mordashov in 2021. A prominent landing deck on the bow gives Nord the appearance from the front of a small aircraft carrier. Its operating cost is estimated by SuperYachtFan.com at $ 40 million to $ 50 million per year.

Amore Vero, 281 feet, $ 120 million

Owner – Igor Sechin, 61, Rosneft CEO

Sechin comp
Sechin’s yacht was honored for “best yacht design over 50 meters” at the World Yacht Trophies.
Sipa USA; Reuters

Net worth – up to $ 2.5 billion (estimated)

Last known location – Le Ciotat, France

Amenities – main deck swimming pool that converts to a helicopter platform, sundeck with a jacuzzi, VIP suites and private balconies.

Honored for “best yacht design over 50 meters” at the World Yacht Trophies, according to its builder, Oceanco. Amore Vero was seized by French authorities in a Mediterranean port on Wednesday.

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