• Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, multiple countries have launched an international pressure campaign on Russia, including seizing nearly a dozen super yachts owned by Russian Oligarchs aligned with President Putin
• The yachts range from $7 million to $700 million in value and include Amore Vero, Lady M, Valerie, Sailing Yacht A, Lena, Lady Anastasia, Crescent, Axioma, Dilbar, and Ragnar
• The owners of the yachts are believed to be close allies of Putin, including Igor Sechin, Alexei Mordeshov, Sergei Chemezov, Gennady Timchenko, Alexander Mikheev, Andrey Melnichenko, Dmitry Pumpyansky, Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky
• The assets of the owners have been frozen by multiple countries, and many of the owners have been sanctioned
• The yachts are currently sitting in ports in multiple countries, and ownership is still being determined
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, authorities worldwide have launched an international pressure campaign on Russia, including seizing nearly a dozen super yachts owned by Russian Oligarchs aligned with President Putin. Several countries such as the US, France, the UK and others, have sanctioned the Russians by freezing their assets, which are believed to facilitate death and destruction in Ukraine. President Biden announced in his state of the union address that he was coming for anything Russian billionaires have, disclosing: ‘We are joining the other allies with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, and your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.’
The yacht seizure began shortly after the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Here is the list of the luxurious yacht seized by governments.
Designed by Igor Lobanov and constructed by Oceanco, Amore Vero is a 289-foot vessel that hit the water in 2013, and during that year, it earned the Igor Award for best design. Amore Vero can reach a top speed of around 20 knots and house up to 14 guests, aside from the owner who has access to two private upper decks on board the ship. It takes 28 crew members, including the captain, to keep everything under control and working correctly. Currently, Amore Vero isn’t available to be charted, as it is undergoing repairs in a shipyard in Marseille, after the French authorities seized it on 2 March 2022 in the Mediterranean port of La Ciota.
This is the 'Amore Vero' – the yacht belonging to Rosneft executive Igor Sechin that the French have just seized.
It is worth around $120m.
I can't imagine Igor is that happy about this state of affairs. pic.twitter.com/rPRVgj3qpM
— Jimmy (@JimmySecUK) March 3, 2022
According to the French Finance Ministry, the $120 million-worth yacht is part-owned by Igor Sechin, considered a close ally and ‘de facto deputy’ of Putin, which explains the seizure. Nicknamed Darth Vader, Igor Sechin is the CEO of Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, one of the world’s largest crude oil producers. According to the European Union, his ties with Putin are ‘long and deep’, and they keep in touch on a daily basis. There were rumors that when the authorities tried to take over the yacht, the crew members were preparing for an urgent departure, although the repair work was supposed to last until April. Although Igor was believed to be the boat’s owner, authorities later established that he was actually the main shareholder.
The 213-feet-long yacht Lady M, was seized in March by the Italian financial police in the northern part of Imperia, Italy. The super yacht is capable of reaching a top speed of 38 knots, thanks to the engines that have a combined horsepower of 9222 – the hull of the ship is made of aluminum, allowing the vessel to reach such an impressive speed. The yacht, worth $71 million, can house 12 guests, and has six luxury suites and an onboard beauty salon. According to the authorities, the owner of the yacht is Alexei Mordeshov, the chairman of Russian mining and steel company Severstal. Alexei is one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen, with a staggering net worth of $18.5 billion. He’s also believed to be one of Putin’s numerous allies with deep pockets. Besides Lady M, he has several other luxury yachts, so things could be much worse for him, and given his net worth, the value of Lady M is just a drop in the ocean. The beautiful yacht is currently sitting in the port of Imperia, where it will remain for the time being.
On 15 March, the Spanish authorities seized the Valerie in Barcelona, which is believed to be linked to Sergei Chemezov, the former KGB agent and CEO of Rostec Corporation, a defense conglomerate. The retired high-ranking general Sergei befriended Putin in the ’80s while stationed in West Berlin. Later, Sergei rose in wealth after Putin became the president of Russia. Furthermore, Putin is the one who appointed him the CEO of the state-owned Roster Corporation. The Larsen Shipyard built this motor-powered super yacht in Germany in 2013. It’s a 279-feet long yacht, and can accommodate 17 guests, in the large nine cabins.
Valerie, valued at $140 million, is run by a crew of 28, and is equipped with a central bar alongside an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the luxury ship was registered to Anastasia Ignatova, Sergei’s stepdaughter – Sergei, his stepdaughter and his wife are currently under US sanctions. Sergei’s spokesperson denied that he had any ties to the yacht. Some rumors indicated that the vessel was temporarily seized, but it would stay provisionally immobilized until ownership was determined.
Sailing Yacht A
Built by Nobiskrug in Kiel, Germany, Sailing Yacht A was seized by the Italian financial police in the port of Trieste. As its name suggests, the yacht is a sail-assisted motor vessel, which means that the ship is propelled through the water using two-line shaft controllable pitch propellers. The 468-feet-long yacht can reach a top speed of 21 knots, which explains its name, ‘ Boundary Pushing Superyacht.’
Sailing Yacht A, valued at $577 million, can house 57 people, including guests and crew. It offers an array of exciting features to keep its guests entertained, including an observation pod and Jacuzzi above deck. Unfortunately for the owner, after it docked in the port of Trieste, the yacht was seized due to its alleged connection to billionaire entrepreneur Andrey Melnichenko. He founded the fertilizer producer Eurochem and coal producer SUEK. After he was sanctioned by the EU, he removed himself from the boards of these companies.
Lena is another luxury yacht seized by the Italian financial police, in San Remo. Constructed in Viareggio Shipyard, Lena set sail for the first time in 2010. The 126-foot-long vessel has enough space to accommodate 10 guests, with six crew members on board. It has five luxury suites, a VIP cabin for relaxation, and rooms for the crew. Thanks to its engines and semi-displacement hulls, it can reach a maximum speed of 28 knots. According to the Italian police, the owner of the $55 million-worth yacht is billionaire businessman Gennady Timchenko, a Russian oligarch. The former co-owner of Gunvor Group and current owner of the company he built, the investment company Volga Group, he’s been a close friend of Putin since the ’80s, who also gave him an oil expert license. This is not the first time Gennady faced international sanction – in 2014, the US government sanctioned him over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as it was believed that he ‘his activities in the energy sector were linked to Putin.’
This is the "Lena", a yacht owned by Gennady Timchenko, founder of the #Volga Group, which has significant holdings in natural gas & other sectors.
— Peter Leung (@BaronVonClutch) March 5, 2022
The 156-foot-long yacht, built by the company Sensation Yachts in 2001, was detained by the Spanish Ministry of Transport in the port of Palma de Mallorca. Although Lady Anastasia has a much smaller value than other yachts on the list, do not let that fool you! The $7-million-worth yacht is designed to allow those living at sea to live a life full of luxury. The motor yacht has five suits that can provide accommodation for 10 guests, while its main suite is on the main deck, containing a private office inside of its spacious cabin. The suite also contains a master bathroom with baths made of honey onyx marble, fitted with golden faucets. On the upper deck is a sky lounge with comfortable seating, a TV, and an entertainment system with games for the guests. The yacht’s exterior is laid out perfectly, with social places in every corner for the guests to enjoy the sun with cocktails. Lady Anastasia can comfortably cruise at a speed of 12 knots, while its maximum speed is 23 knots.
The yacht allegedly belongs to Alexander Mikheev, the CEO of Rosoboronexport, the state organization that exports weapons. Following the news of war and sanctions, the yacht’s Ukrainian engineer tried to sink the great vessel while it was docked in Spain, making headlines worldwide. However, the attempt was unsuccessful, and the engineer was subsequently arrested. However, talking to a media outlet later, he disclosed that he didn’t regret his actions, and would do it again if given a chance.
Built by Larsen Shipyard in Germany, Crescent was seized by the Spanish Ministry for Transport in the port of Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain. The 445-feet-long monster vessel is made of steel which surrounds an aluminum superstructure to ensure its durability and stability. Crescent, one of the largest yachts in the world, has an interior that consists of nine guest suites that can accommodate 18 people. Furthermore, the yacht is run by a crew of 40 members, who have 20 additional cabins. Crescent includes an array of amenities and features to ensure all of the guests are entertained at all times: a spa room, a swimming platform, and an onboard movie theater. Its maximum speed is 15knots, with a cruising speed of 11.
Unlike other yachts, establishing the owner of Crescent has been a challenge that remains unresolved. Given its value which is in the range of $600 million, at the time of seizure, it was believed that it might belong to a person or entity included in the European’s package of sanctions. According to some sources, there were indications that Crescent might have belonged to Igor Sechin, which would mean that two of his superyachts were seized.
Axioma is a yacht seized by the authorities in Gibraltar, believed to belong to Russian billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky. Initially known as Project Red Square, this 236-feet-long custom motor yacht was built in 2013, and is an actual work of art, with sophisticated mechanical equipment and eye-catching exterior and interior design. Thanks to its powerful engines, it can reach a maximum speed of 17 knots, while her comfortable cruising speed is 14. Built by Dunya Yachts, Axioma offers several interesting features, such as a line-up of living spaces and modern amenities including a spacious mezzanine, an infinity pool on deck, and a deck spa. The yacht, designed by Sterling Scott, can accommodate 12 guests in six lavish staterooms, including a master suite, VIP suite, and four double cabins. Furthermore, the spacious vessel worth $75 million, has 20 crew members.
The yacht owner, Dmitry, is a Russian billionaire who was the owner and the chairman of TMK PAO, Russia’s largest oil and steel pipe manufacturer. Following sanctions by the EU and UK in March 2022, Dmitry resigned from the company’s board of directors.
Dilbar is a $700 million valued yacht impounded in Hamburg, Germany, and linked to Alisher Usmanov. Previously known as project Omar, the superyacht was built at the German Lurssen shipyard, and set sail in 2016. The sixth-largest yacht in the world, Dilbar is 511ft long, and employs over 80 crew members. The spacious vessel has several unique features, including the largest swimming pool installed on a yacht. Thanks to technological innovations and a superstructure made of aluminum, this complex and luxurious yacht can reach a maximum speed of 22 knots while her cruising speed is 17knots.
Later it was determined that the yacht actually belonged to Alisher’s sister. – the Russian oligarch, considered one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world, with his last reported net worth in the range of $19 billion, has close ties to Putin and is believed to be his’ favorite oligarch’. The 68-year-old businessman is the co-owner of the MegaFon, Russia’s second-largest mobile operator company, and Udokan, a large copper mine. In March, Italy’s financial police seized his real estate and assets believed to be worth $ 90 million.
The Vikings-inspired superyacht allegedly belonging to the former KGB agent Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, was seized by the Norwegian Navy. The 223-feet-long vessel was built in 2013 by Shipyard Royal Niestern Sander, and has various sensational features such as a helipad, spa, and gym. Interestingly, Ragnar was originally an ice-breaking multipurpose support supply vessel, that Icon Yachts converted into a dashing yacht in 2020. It can provide accommodation for 12 guests with its eight cabins. The $85-million-valued yacht Ragnar is run by a crew of 13, to ensure a relaxed experience. Its cruising speed is 12 knots, while its maximum speed is 14.
This Russian owned yacht named "Ragnar", was ransacked by the Norwegian Coast Guard, Police and Customs earlier today.
It's owned by former KGB officier Vladimir Strzhalkovsky ; who is an old friend of Vladimir Putin.
It looks like a boat used for cutting fiber cables. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/6QwrCPtuHS
— Truls Meland (@Still_Fast) February 23, 2022
The Russian oligarch Vladimir is a very close friend of Putin – they reportedly even served in the army together. He was deputy minister of economy, and was later appointed Executive Officer of Norsilk Nickel. After leaving the company with a jaw-dropping payout of $100 million, he bought the Italian Scarpa winery. His net worth is estimated at around $400 million.