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16 superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs

Western sanctions over moscow's invasion of ukraine led to many luxury vessels being detained in europe.

Two superyachts linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich were spotted on the Turkish coast on Tuesday, 'Eclipse' and 'My Solaris'. Mr Abramovich is among several wealthy Russians added to an EU blacklist as governments act to seize their yachts and other luxury assets. AP

Two superyachts linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich were spotted on the Turkish coast on Tuesday, 'Eclipse' and 'My Solaris'. Mr Abramovich is among several wealthy Russians added to an EU blacklist as governments act to seize their yachts and other luxury assets. AP

Jamie Goodwin author image

Live updates: follow the latest news on Russia-Ukraine

Several luxury yachts owned by wealthy Russians have been detained across Europe this month.

It comes after the West imposed sanctions on oligarchs over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine .

Some have taken evasive action – two such superyachts linked to billionaire Roman Abramovich were spotted approaching the Turkish coast on Tuesday. A group of Ukrainians tried to stop one of the yachts from docking in Turkey.

Chelsea FC owner Mr Abramovich is one of several oligarchs who were added to an EU blacklist last week as governments acted to seize yachts and other luxury assets owned by the billionaires.

Western sanctions resulted in many large vessels relocating from Europe in the past few weeks. Several have headed to places such as the Maldives, which have no extradition treaty with the US.

Where is the Abramovich-owned yacht heading?

Mr Abramovich's yacht Eclipse was seen heading towards Marmaris on Tuesday, according to data compiled by monitoring site Marine Traffic, which was seen by Reuters.

The previous day, his superyacht Solaris was moored in Bodrum, about 80 kilometres from Marmaris, data showed, after skirting waters of EU countries.

There was no suggestion Mr Abramovich was on board either of the yachts.

Ukrainians attempt to stop Abramovich's yacht docking in Turkey

Ukrainians attempt to stop Abramovich's yacht docking in Turkey

Which yachts have been detained?

On Monday, a superyacht linked to another Russian billionaire was detained by authorities after docking in Gibraltar.

The Axioma , believed to belong to Dmitrievich Pumpyansky, moored at Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Reuters TV footage showed.

Mr Pumpyansky, who is under UK and EU sanctions, owns Russia's largest steel pipe maker TMK. Data shows the 72-metre vessel is owned by a British Virgin Islands holding company called Pyrene investments, Reuters reported. An article published as part of the Panama Papers leaks names Mr Pumpyansky as a beneficiary of the holding.

On March 12, the world's biggest sailing yacht, called Sailing Yacht A and owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko , was seized by Italian police.

Several other luxury yachts have also been detained across Europe, including in Gibraltar, Mallorca in Spain's Balearic Islands and the French coast.

Here are 16 superyachts linked to wealthy Russians

1. Eclipse , a superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich , was this week spotted heading in the direction of Marmaris in Turkey.

2. Solaris , belonging to Mr Abramovich , moored in Bodrum at the start of the week.

3. The Axioma superyacht, belonging to Russian oligarch Dmitrievich Pumpyansky , who is on the EU's list of sanctioned Russians, was detained by authorities after docking in Gibraltar on Monday.

4. The Crescent , which was seized by the Spanish government in Tarragona, Spain, on March 17. The ship's owner is not publicly known, although it is believed to belong to Russian Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft Oil in Moscow.

5. Ragnar , owned by former KGB officer and Russian oligarch Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, who is not on the EU sanctions list.

6. Tango , owned by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who was sanctioned by the US on March 11.

7. Lady Anastasia , owned by Russian arms manufacturer Alexander Mijeev, is retained at Port Adriano, Mallorca, as a result of sanctions against Russia and Belarus issued by the European Union.

8. Valerie was seized by the Spanish government in Barcelona, Spain, on March 15. Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that the ship is linked to Rostec State Corporation’s chief executive Sergey Chemezov.

9. The $578 million Sailing Yacht A owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko was seized by Italian police in the port of Trieste on March 12.

10. The 156-metre Dilbar superyacht is owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

11. La Datcha belongs to Russian billionaire businessman Oleg Tinkov.

12. Lady M , owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, was seized by Italian police on March 5.

13. Amore Vero was seized in the Mediterranean resort of La Ciotat on March 3 by French authorities. The yacht is linked to Igor Sechin, a Putin ally who runs the Russian oil giant Rosneft.

14. Quantum Blue , owned by a company linked to Russian billionaire Sergei Galitsky, the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft, was seized in southern France on March 3.

15. Superyacht Luna is owned by Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov.

16. Triple Seven is owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Abramov, according to media reports. The yacht was last up for sale in 2020 for €38 million ($41.85 million).

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The U.S. seized Russian oligarchs' superyachts. Now, American taxpayers pay the price

Ayesha Rascoe, photographed for NPR, 2 May 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Mike Morgan for NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe

Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Stephanie Baker, senior writer at Bloomberg News, about the complications involved in seizing and maintaining superyachts owned by sanctioned Russian billionaires.

Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

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The 15 Most Expensive Yachts in the World

These dream machines show what's possible when money is no object., rachel cormack.

Digital Editor

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Al Saïd Lürssen

As superyachts continue to get bigger and more extravagant than ever before, so too do the accompanying price tags. According to the Boats Group’s market index, the average cost of a yacht above 80 feet in the US last year was $5.3 million. As you’ll see below, though, there are a handful of high-end vessels that blow that figure out of the water.

Although it’s difficult to get exact prices in what is a fiercely secretive industry, sales of luxury yachts have surged amid the pandemic and the ultra-wealthy are more willing than ever to fork out for ostentatious ocean goers. Case in point: Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos reportedly parted with $485 million for his Oceanco megayacht that’s currently in build.

Believe it or not, that’s quite a modest price compared to at least half of the entries on this list. Lürssen’s Dilbar , for instance, is rumored to have cost in the ballpark of $800 million. As alluded to, the shipyards behind these lavish, nine-figure designs seldom share details regarding ownership or price. Therefore, the amounts cited here are estimates pulled together from Wikipedia and other reliable sources. Still, the 15 vessels here give you a good idea of what’s possible when money is no object and the best builders in the business are at your whim.

Lürssen: ‘Dilbar’ — $800 Million

EU authorities began to seize Russian Oligarch's superyachts

Delivered in 2016, Lürssen’s Dilbar is the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage. It’s also the most expensive with an original price tag in the ballpark of $800 million. Weighing in at 15,917 tons, the monolithic 512-footer is one of the most complex and challenging vessels the German yard has ever built. Penned by Espen Øino, Dilbar features a classic profile and a light ivory hull with bronze accents. Onboard, meanwhile, the elegant interiors were brought to life by Winch Design and outfitted with only the best luxury materials. The pièce de résistance is, of course, the 82-foot swimming pool. Lürssen says it is the largest pool ever to have been installed on a yacht. Seafarers also have access to 41,000 square feet of saloons, staterooms, spas and cinemas to explore. German authorities impounded Dilbar earlier this year after establishing it was linked to a Russian billionaire. According to the US Treasury Department, the yacht is now worth between $600 million and $700 million, with annual maintenance costs of about $60 million.

Blohm+Voss: ‘Eclipse’ — $600 Million

Blohm & Voss "Eclipse" Superyacht

The epic 533-foot Blohm+Voss superyacht Eclipse took half a decade to come to fruition before it was finally delivered to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2010. At that time, it was the largest yacht in the world and certainly one of the most expensive. It has now been 20-odd years and Eclipse still sits at the top of both lists and is estimated to be worth over $600 million. Designed inside and out by Terence Disdale, the vessel is equipped with 17 staterooms, a 185-foot-long owner’s deck with a palatial owner’s suite, a giant swimming pool that doubles as a dance floor, a gym, a beach club and a spa. Other highlights include a helicopter hangar with space for three choppers and a garage that can hold six tenders. On top of that, Eclipse has a top-end speed of 21 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles.

Lürssen: ‘Azzam’ — $600 Million

expensive russian yacht

Lürssen has proven itself adept at delivering sizable (and expensive) vessels. In fact, the German yard is behind the world’s longest superyacht, which reportedly set one private owner back more than $600 million. Delivered in 2013, Azzam measures just shy of 593 feet and offers a volume of 13,136 GT. Penned by Nauta Yacht, the yacht’s exterior is characterized by a long, sleek forward area and a series of tiers ascending to the skydeck. The interior, meanwhile, was brought to life by Christophe Leoni and showcases luxurious decor inspired by the Empire style of the early 19th century. Azzam is no slouch on the high seas, either, with a top speed of more than 30 knots. Astonishingly, the behemoth only took three years to build after one year of engineering. Azzam also underwent a refit in 2020 that likely resulted in a few more dollars being spent on her.

Lürssen: ‘Al Said’ — $600 Million

expensive russian yacht

Another nine-figure Lürssen megayacht on the list is Al Saïd . Delivered in 2008, the 508-footer reportedly set the Sultan of Oman roughly $600 million and, well, you can tell. Designed by Espen Øino, Al Saïd ’s exterior is reminiscent of a classic cruise liner with the twin-exhaust stacks in the center of the superstructure. Sporting a steel hull and lightweight aluminum superstructure, the yacht is capable of 25 knots flat out, with a cruising speed of 22 knots. Inside, meanwhile, the contemporary interior was penned by Redman Whiteley Dixon. Highlights include a concert hall that can hold a 50-piece orchestra.

Lürssen: ‘A+’ (Topaz) — $527 Million

Lürssen Topaz largest yachts in the world

Lürssen megayacht A+ , previously known as Topaz , reportedly cost approximately $527 million (€400 million) to come to fruition. It is the fourth-largest yacht ever built by the German shipyard and was launched back in 2012. It’s rumored that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the UAE and owner of Manchester City Football Club, took delivery of the vessel and is the current owner. A+ ’s exterior was penned by Tim Heywood Designs, while her interior was brought to life by Terence Disdale. She is equipped with cabins for 62 guests and 72 crew, as well as two helipads, a pool and a large swim platform. What more do you need?

Fincantieri: ‘Serene’ — $444 Million

A float plane flies over the super yacht Serene during take off in Ketchikan, Alaska Friday morning. Work began on the 493-foot 3-inch yacht in 2007 by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. The ship has a crew of 52 and room for 24 guests. The seven deck vessel has landing capabilities for two helicopters and for a submarine and a sea water pool. (AP Photo/Ketchikan Daily News, Hall Anderson)

Fincantieri’s first superyacht turned out to be big in terms of both proportions and price. The 439-footer was the largest yacht ever launched in Italy when it hit the water in 2011 and cost approximately $444 million (€450 million) to complete. Designed by Espen Øino, the seven-deck vessel is characterized by a sleek blue hull, a contrasting white superstructure and a ton of racy curves. She’s brimming with amenities, too, including an enclosed winter garden for dining in any season, a tender garage large enough to house a submarine and a supersized swimming pool for soaking. She also has two helipads and a hangar to facilitate comings and goings. Although the details of Serene ’s interior remain tightly under wraps, we do know Pascale Reymond of Reymond Langton Design penned the 43,056-square-foot living quarters.

Platinum Yachts: ‘Dubai’ — $400 Million

DUBAI UAE - DEC 16: Dubai - yacht of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. December 16 2014 in Dubai UAE

Dubai was, quite literally, built for royalty at a princely fee of roughly $400 million. The superyacht was originally commissioned by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei as a joint project between Blohm+Voss and Lürssen. The duo only got to finish the bare hull and skeletal superstructure before construction was halted in 1998. The incomplete design was then sold to the government of Dubai and turned into a royal yacht for the country’s ruler. The 532-footer, which was finished off by Platinum Yachts, was delivered to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2006. Penned by Winch Design, Dubai spans seven decks and can sleep 24 guests and 88 crew. Befitting a sheikh, she is also equipped with a landing pad for a Black Hawk helicopter, a submarine garage, a disco and a cinema.

Blohm+Voss : ‘Motor Yacht A’ — $300 Million

Motor Yacht A 2008

Legend has it that architect Philippe Starck sketched the design for Motor Yacht A on a napkin in a matter of minutes. Blohm + Voss then sold the superyacht for approximately $300 million. Commissioned by Russian industrialist Andrey Melnichenko, the 390-footer is characterized by a minimalist exterior and a highly distinctive pelican bow that cuts a striking silhouette. With a beam of 62 feet, the vessel offers a generous interior volume of 5,500 GT. She offers accommodation for 14 guests and 42 crew. She also has no less than three swimming pools, one of which has a glass bottom that creates a wow factor on the deck below. Melnichenko kept  Motor Yacht A for nearly a decade before replacing it with Nobiskrug’s Sailing Yacht A . The 468-footer is not only the largest sailing yacht in the world, but also the most expensive with an estimated value of $578 million .

Lürssen: ‘Radiant’ — $300 Million

expensive russian yacht

The tale behind Radiant ’s price tag is almost as long as the 360-footer itself. Rumor has it, the superyacht was built for Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky at a cost of roughly $149 million (€148.5 million). After Berezovsky ran into financial difficulties, he asked Edmiston to list the vessel for $352 million (€350 million) and it eventually sold for a hair under that. Delivered in 2010, Radiant sports a steel hull, an aluminum superstructure and gorgeous teak decking. She can comfortably accommodate up to 20 guests in 10 suites, as well as up to 44 crew. Her top-tier amenities include a movie theatre, a beauty salon, a beach club, a gym, a pool, a Jacuzzi, a helipad and a fully stocked tender garage. Certainly sounds worthy of $300 million to us.

Lürssen: ‘Pelorus’ — $300 Million

expensive russian yacht

In the late ‘90s, Saudi Arabian businessman Abdulmohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh commissioned Lürssen to create Pelorus . The 377-footer hit the seas in 2003 and was the 11th-largest yacht in the world at the time. During her maiden voyage, Pelorus was sold to Roman Abramovich. The Russian entrepreneur had it altered by Blohm & Voss, adding a second helipad and other lavish amenities. Fast forward to 2009, Irina Abramovich received the yacht as part of her divorce settlement from Roman. She sold it to David Geffen in 2011 via broker Merle Wood for $300 million. Pelorus features a sleek exterior designed by Tim Heywood and a beachy chic interior penned by Terence Disdale. She has several terraces with doors that open out to the sea to create a true indoor/outdoor feel.

Peters Werft: ‘Al Mirqab’ — $300 Million

expensive russian yacht

The 436-foot Al Mirqab is one of the largest yachts in the world and has a price tag to match. Launched in 2008, the $300 million vessel was built for Qatar’s former prime minister under the supervision of Kusch Yachts in the Peters Werft shipyard in Germany. Penned by Tim Heywood, the elegant exterior pairs a long, navy-blue hull with a contrasting white superstructure. The interior, meanwhile, was brought to life by Andrew Winch and has won several awards. Arguably, the most striking feature is the Arabic-influenced motifs on the marble floors. Another highlight is the swimming pool on the lower deck, which can be opened up to the sea via side hatches in the hull. Al Mirqab has staterooms for 36, and crew quarters for 45. She was also treated to a refit in 2014 and thus looks fresher than your average 14-year-old vessel.

Abeking & Rasmussen: ‘Aviva’ — $250 Million

expensive russian yacht

Abeking & Rasmussen’s Aviva shows what kind of lavish amenities you can get with $250 million. The 323-footer, which was delivered in 2017, features the largest gym on any yacht. It’s so big, in fact, that it houses a full-size paddle tennis court that pulls double duty as a soccer field when the nets are down. Penned by Toby Silverton and Reymond Langton Design, Aviva pairs a curvacious blue exterior with a chic modern interior. She is equipped with a hybrid propulsion system that enables her to reach up to 11 knots using only electric motors or 20 knots with the addition of diesel power. The yacht is reportedly the sequel to another smaller Aviva that was delivered to British billionaire Joe Lewis in 2007. The yacht was launched just 33 months after the signing of the contract, which is quite an impressive feat given the complexity and scope of the project.

Lürssen: ‘Octopus’ — $200 Million 

Octopus Superyacht Exterior

Launched in 2003 at a cost of approximately $200 million, Octopus was built by Lürssen for late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The 414-footer is regularly loaned out for expeditions and scientific research initiatives. A true explorer, it features a dive center with a hyperbaric chamber, a yellow submarine named Pagoo and a remotely operated vehicle that can dive thousands of feet below the surface. Of course, this is complemented by state-of-the-art research technology. In addition, Octopus features two helipads, a hangar and seven tenders to facilitate comings and goings. She is also equipped with 13 staterooms, several bars, a recording studio, a cinema, a spa, a gym, a library and a basketball court. (You might remember Allen once owned the Portland Trail Blazers.) What’s more, Octopus appears to be climbing in price as time goes on. In 2019, the vessel was listed for sale for a cool $325 million .

Lürssen: ‘Rising Sun’ — $200 Million

Lürssen Rising Sun superyacht

Rising Sun was designed by one of the brightest minds in the industry: the late, legendary Jon Bannenberg. In fact, it was the last yacht the Australian designer penned before he died in 2002. The $200 million vessel was built by Lürssen and delivered to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison two years later in 2004. The 138-footer is characterized by large expanses of glass that let in plenty of the sun’s rays. In addition, it offers 86,000 square feet of living space brought to life by Seccombe Design. There are nine cabins for up to 18 guests and generous crew quarters for up to 46 crew. Elsewhere, you’ll find a gym, a cinema, a wine cellar and a basketball court. As for grunt, Rising Sun promises a maximum speed of 28 knots and a cruising speed of 26 knots. She was last refitted in 2011 and is currently owned by billionaire David Geffen.

Lürssen: ‘Solandge’ — $150 Million

Lürssen’s Solandge

Lürssen’s Solandge is rumored to have cost $150 million to come to fruition, and you can tell. Delivered in 2013, the 279-footer is replete with the finest materials. The floor, for example, sports no less than 50 types of exotic wood. There are also around 50 samples of natural stone in the bathrooms. Designed by Espen Øino, Solandge has a sleek exterior with elegant, clean lines. Aileen Rodriguez’s interior, meanwhile, is full to the brim with extravagant amenities. The spa comprises multiple pools on different decks, along with a hammam and a sauna. In addition, the yacht features a beauty salon is equipped with a sink and crane that together creates “snow” à la a snow room, as well as a gym and a massage room. As Lürssen puts it, Solandge was built with pure yachting pleasure in mind.

Rachel Cormack is a digital editor at Robb Report. She cut her teeth writing for HuffPost, Concrete Playground, and several other online publications in Australia, before moving to New York at the…

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The top 10 most expensive yachts in the world owned by Russian billionaires, royalty and more

Yachts so glorious they have their own submarine? Well, it’s true. We dive into a list of the top 10 most expensive yachts money can buy— for now

expensive russian yacht

If you’ve been paying attention, you would have noticed our healthy obsession with yachts. From small fleets to mega and explorer yachts, we’ve covered them all. These luxury fleets are the epitome of sophistication and extravagance, proving to be the ultimate symbol of what luxury lifestyle stands for. Fitted with cinemas, concert halls and even onboard beaches these yachts show us how to live the life of luxury like a private jet on the sea, we bring to you the top 10 most expensive luxury yachts in the world.

1. Eclipse ($ 1.5 billion/ $485 million)

expensive russian yacht

Owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abromavich , Eclipse is the most expensive yacht on our list. Eclipse is a monstrous 528 foot stunner and is the second largest private yacht in the world. Built by Blohm + Voss Hamburg Shipyard, this yacht does not hold back on its features. On top of two helicopter pads as well as a mini-submarine, Eclipse is equipped with a missile detection system and bulletproof windows as part of its defence mechanism. Rumour has it that it even has lasers to deter the paparazzi!

2. Azzam ($600 million)

expensive russian yacht

With the title of the largest private yacht in the world, Azzam is a ship to marvel at. With a length of 590 feet, it edges out Eclipse to grab the crown. This monster was manufactured by Lürssen Yachts , and owned by Sheikh Khgalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi . Boasting a timeless and innovative design that doesn’t curb the ferocity of this yacht, Azzam is able to reach an impressive top speed of nearly 30 knots.

3. Superyacht ‘A’ ($400 million)

expensive russian yacht

Named after the initials of its Russian billionaire owner Andrey Melnichenko , ‘A’ is an A class yacht. This 394-foot superyacht is designed by Philippe Starck and has an original contemporary design. Housing a 2500 square foot master bedroom as well as six guest suites, the interiors are made versatile with moving walls. Crystal, yacht glass and mirrors drip all over the interior, with a prevalence in both the interior and furniture. All things exotic seem to be in style, with white stingray hides adorning the walls while crocodile skin furniture litter the yacht.

4. Dubai ($400 million)

expensive russian yacht

At 524 feet, Dubai is the yachting equivalent of its namesake. The third largest private yacht in the world is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates . The yacht comes with seven gorgeous decks, perfect for relaxing, along with a small submarine to view the marine life that live below.

5. Al Said ($300 million)

expensive russian yacht

Fashioned from an aluminium base, Al Said is another superyacht stunner. Its interiors are designed by Redman Whitely Dixon, with more than enough facilities to accommodate up to 70 people — on top of a crew of 154. Perhaps the most opulent part of this yacht is its concert hall, large enough to host a 50-piece orchestra.

6. Serene ($330 million)

expensive russian yacht

Billionaire Yuri Scheffler sure knows his vodka  — and his yachts. Entrusting Fincantieri to create his private yacht, the firm presented to him, “Serene”. The yacht has a combined 48,000 square feet of covered space across seven decks, featuring a fully equipped spa, cinema and even a wood fire pizza oven. Its amazing leisure and entertainment facilities will ensure that you never want to step foot off the yacht.

7.  Pelorus Yacht ($300 million)

expensive russian yacht

This yacht is so extensive it is home to a collection of smaller boats on the tender deck. The Pelorus is owned by Roman Abramovich and has a length of 377 feet. Cabins in the Pelorus see distressed planking as floorboards, to create an earthy atmosphere. One of the guest suites features a movable wall, which when lowered can transform into a private veranda . It looks to be like Pelorus aims for a more informal form of luxury — a testament to true relaxation in style.

8. The Rising Sun ($300 million)

expensive russian yacht

Members of the glitterati that have been seen lounging on this ship include Leonardo DiCaprio . The Rising Sun boasts 8000 square metres of living space, with 82 rooms spread out across five levels. It even has on-board basketball courts that double as helipads should the need arise.

9. Dilbar ($263 million)

expensive russian yacht

A vision dressed in bronze and ivory accents, Dilbar is elegance on water. Don’t be fooled by this yacht’s graceful exterior though. Powered by a 30,000kw Diesel electric power plant, she is able to sail at speeds of 22.5 knots. Despite being surrounded by ocean, Dilbar doesn’t skimp on its indoor pool. Her 180 cubic metre pool is stated to be the largest on any yacht. In addition to her magnificent pool, Dilbar is able to carry 20 guests and 47 crew members.

10. Lady Moura ($210 million)

expensive russian yacht

Get ready; this yacht has some seriously luxurious facilities . Besides having its name and escutcheon made from 24-karat gold, Lady Moura also comes with a pool with a retractable roof. But the highlight of the entire yacht is undoubtedly its extendable beach. The sand bar slides out from beneath the boat’s hull and can be adjusted to sit just at the waterline. If that doesn’t awe you enough, the onboard beach comes with palm trees to create the perfect oasis.

expensive russian yacht


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Amadea, a superyacht, docked at the Port of Everett on Monday, April 29, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Amadea, a superyacht, docked at the Port of Everett on Monday, April 29, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

How did a Russian oligarch’s seized superyacht end up in Everett?

Worth more than $300 million, the Amadea could soon be up for sale. But first, it came to Everett on Monday.

  • Monday, April 29, 2024 1:44pm
  • Local News Everett

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expensive russian yacht

U.S. moves to claim $300M superyacht associated with ‘Russian Gatsby’

Super yacht Amadea

The Justice Department officially moved Monday to claim a 348-foot superyacht it says belongs to a sanctioned billionaire oligarch known as the " Russian Gatsby ."

In a civil forfeiture claim filed in federal court in New York, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams' office said that the $300 million vessel, the Amadea , is "beneficially owned" by Suleiman Kerimov and that the "superyacht was improved and maintained in violation of applicable sanctions against Kerimov and those acting on his behalf."

The filing contends the yacht, which has a helipad, an infinity pool, a Jacuzzi and multiple bars, should be forfeited to the U.S. government.

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Kerimov , who's worth an estimated $14 billion and has ties to the Russian government, over alleged money laundering in 2018.

Super yacht Amadea

He has been referred to as a "Russian Gatsby" in part because he rarely does interviews while indulging in the high life. He has hosted multimillion-dollar parties at his villas on the French Riviera, including one in 2008 that reportedly featured a performance by Beyoncé, and his car collection includes a rare Ferrari Enzo, which he once crashed into a tree in 2006.

The yacht was seized in Fiji last year as part of the work of the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, which has been going after the assets of sanctioned oligarchs in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The court filing said officials were able to prove Kerimov's ownership by showing that he was responsible for numerous upgrades to the vessel, including a new pizza oven.

However, another oligarch, Eduard Khudainatov, maintains that he's the owner of the Amadea and has filed legal challenges for its return. Khudainatov is the former chairman and CEO of Rosneft, the state-controlled gas company in Russia, and he has not been sanctioned by the U.S. government.

The Justice Department has said in court filings that Khudainatov is a "straw owner" and that he couldn't even afford the upkeep on the Amadea and another superyacht he says he owns.

Khudainatov's lawyer, Adam Ford, sued in federal court in California seeking the yacht's return late Sunday, before the federal action Monday. The filing says the government's estimate of his client's wealth is based in part on his failure to show up on Forbes' annual billionaires list, and it contends "a magazine's list should not be the basis of, or suffice as evidence for, any U.S. government enforcement action."

Ford said in a statement, "We are confident that a neutral arbiter will order the return of the Amadea to our client."

The U.S. has worked with numerous countries to seize a number of superyachts with ties to oligarchs, whose ownership interests are often hard to prove.

Task Force KleptoCapture co-director Michael Khoo said in a statement that the forfeiture proceeding against the Amadea came "after a careful and painstaking effort to develop the necessary evidence showing Suleiman Kerimov’s clear interest in the Amadea and the repeated misuse of the U.S. financial system to support and maintain the yacht for his benefit."

“Getting to this point required extensive cooperation across the U.S. government and with foreign partners. It underscores our resolve to undertake challenging, cross-border investigations and to send a message to Russian oligarchs and their enablers: if you flout the rule of law, you can expect to pay real and meaningful consequences,” Khoo said.

expensive russian yacht

Michael Kosnar is a Justice Department producer for the NBC News Washington Bureau.

expensive russian yacht

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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a people watch from the shore as a giant white boat with many levels pulls closer

US spends more than $7m a year to keep up superyacht seized from Russian oligarch

Government efforts to auction Amadea, vessel allegedly owned by Suleiman Kerimov, challenged by ex-head of Russian oil company

The US government has said it is spending more than $7m a year to maintain a superyacht it seized from a sanctioned Russian oligarch , and urged a judge to let it auction the vessel before a dispute over its ownership is resolved.

Authorities in Fiji seized the 348ft (106-meter), $300m Amadea in May 2022, pursuant to a US warrant alleging it was owned by Suleiman Kerimov , a multibillionaire sanctioned by the US treasury department in 2014 and 2018 in response to Russia’s activities in Syria and Ukraine.

Efforts to auction the yacht are being challenged by Eduard Khudainatov, who led Russian state oil and gas company Rosneft from 2010 to 2013.

Khudainatov claims ownership of the Amadea, and has said it cannot not be forfeited because he has not been sanctioned.

In a court filing late on Friday federal prosecutors in Manhattan told the US district judge Dale Ho that the $600,000 average monthly maintenance bill for the Amadea has been “excessive”, justifying an auction. They also said talks to have Khudainatov pay for the yacht’s upkeep have broken down.

Prosecutors have said in previous court filings that Khudainatov is acting as the Amadea’s “straw owner” to disguise Kerimov’s role, and that maintenance payments are essential to preserving a yacht’s value.

Khudainatov has until 23 February to reply to prosecutors’ request. In a statement, his lawyers said the motion to sell the vessel was “premature” and urged Ho to deny it until he “determines whether the seizure was unconstitutional”.

The seizure came as Washington ramped up sanctions enforcement against people close to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, to pressure Moscow to halt its war against Ukraine.

If the US government succeeded in auctioning the yacht, it would likely eventually transfer sale proceeds to Ukraine.

Prosecutors have said Kerimov violated US sanctions by making more than $1m in maintenance payments for the Amadea through the US financial system, making the vessel now docked in San Diego subject to forfeiture.

Kerimov and his family are worth $10.7bn, according to Forbes magazine. He amassed his fortune through Russian gold miner Polyus, though he is no longer a shareholder.

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NBC 7 San Diego

Who's Paying for Russian Oligarch's Seized Yacht in San Diego Bay?

The amadea, which superyachttimes.com called the 63rd largest yacht in the world, tied up monday at naval base san diego, in national city, by eric s. page and mari payton • published june 28, 2022 • updated on june 28, 2022 at 2:11 pm.

Many San Diegans who saw the news about the Amadea — the $325 million seized Russian oligarch's yacht that docked in San Diego on Monday — may be wondering: Who's paying for that?

Imagine how much the fuel costs to sail it more than 5,000 miles from Fiji, where it was seized earlier this month, to San Diego? A local marine fuel dock quoted the following prices, if you're wondering: $7.40 for gas, $7.35 for diesel. According to SuperYachtTimes.com, the Amadea has a 392,000-liter fuel tank. That works out to about 103,555 gallons, so it could cost $766,307 or so just to fill up.

And then there are maintence costs on a 350-foot long yacht, which, you can be sure, are extensive and necessary — in fact, not undertaking such efforts can cause the vessel's value to decline if it deteriotes due to neglect.

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The Amadea carries a full complement of 36 crew, including the captain, according to SuperYachtTimes, but it won't need nearly that many once she tied up at Naval Base San Diego in National City. Nevertheless, someone will be monitoring the yacht and conducting the maintenance.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the yacht was bought with what it calls "dirty money," and, as such, some may be relieved to hear, will be sold to the highest bidder. Presumably, the associated post-seizure costs accrued after its seizure will be coming off the top of the sale price. Until then, the Amadea, which SuperYachtTimes called the 63rd larges yacht in the world, will resume in the custody of the U.S.

expensive russian yacht

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San Diego father of 5 loses fight for life after hit-and-run crash near Balboa Park

Officials with the DOJ said the Amadea, which was seized in connection to the department's KleptoCapture campaign undertaken in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, was owned by Suleiman Kerimov a Russian billionaire.

After the yacht arrived in San Diego, John Kirby, a former federal prosecutor, told NBC 7 that he thinks the U.S. government hopes moves like the Amadea's seizure are efforts to apply pressure to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this month, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said, regarding the Amadea, “The department had its eyes on every yacht purchased with dirty money. This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide — not even in the remotest part of the world. We will use every means of enforcing the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine.”

The court ruling represented a significant victory for the U.S. as it encounters obstacles in its attempts to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs around the world. While those efforts are welcomed by many who oppose the war in Ukraine, some actions have tested the limits of American jurisdiction abroad.

The United States wasted no time in taking command of the after a Fiji court ruled in its favor and sailed the ship away from the South Pacific nation just hours after the ruling.

"If you could say or somehow prove that this boat … that the oligarch had the money for this boat because he bribed Vladimir Putin, that is public corruption," Kirby said. "It’s a crime even when it takes place outside the United States. The United States can still act upon it."

According the website, the Amadea is not currently for sale, but that may soon change. Until then, you can "shop" for other eye-popping, wallet-busting boats here .

The Associated Press contributed to this report — Ed.

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expensive russian yacht

US buys 81 Soviet-era combat aircraft from Russia's ally costing on average less than $20,000 each, report says

  • The US has purchased 81 Soviet-era combat aircraft from Kazakhstan, a report from the Kyiv Post says.
  • Kazakhstan, a historic ally of Russia, is engaging more with Western nations.
  • The planes could be used for spare parts or as decoys in conflict regions, the Kyiv Post reported.

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The US has acquired 81 obsolete Soviet-era combat aircraft from Kazakhstan, a report from the Kyiv Post says.

Kazakhstan, which is upgrading its air fleet, auctioned off 117 Soviet-era fighter and bomber aircraft, including MiG-31 interceptors, MiG-27 fighter bombers, MiG-29 fighters, and Su-24 bombers from the 1970s and 1980s.

The Kyiv Post reported that the declared sale value was one billion Kazakhstani tenge, or $2.26 million, equalling an average value for each plane of $19,300.

The outlet cited reports from the Ukrainian Telegram channel Insider UA and the Russian news site Reporter saying the US purchased 81 of the aged, unusable warplanes.

The Kyiv Post reported that the motive behind the US purchase remained undisclosed but that the aircraft could be used in Ukraine, where similar aircraft are in service.

The Russian site Reporter said the sale was made through offshore companies.

But Kazspetsexport, Kazakhstan's state-owned weapons importer and exporter, denied selling military airplanes to Ukraine in a statement , saying that foreign companies were not allowed to bid.

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The Pentagon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Given Ukraine's continued reliance on Soviet-era weapons , the aircraft could either serve as a source of spare parts or be strategically deployed as decoys at airfields, the Kyiv Post reported.

The Mikoyan MiG-31 is a supersonic interceptor that was designed to defend Soviet airspace, according to Airforce Technology . It played a critical role during the Cold War.

Derived from the MiG-23, the MiG-27 was a ground-attack aircraft and saw action in conflicts such as the Soviet-Afghan War. The MiG-29 excelled in air-to-air combat. It was widely exported and remains in service with some air forces.

Despite its age, the Su-24 — an all-weather tactical bomber — remains in service with several air forces, including the Russian Aerospace Forces and Ukrainian Air Force.

Kazakhstan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, has maintained close ties to Russia and historically was one of its strongest allies. But the relationship has shifted since Russia invaded Ukraine, with Kazakhstan aligning itself more with the West, drawing the fury of some in Russia.

The Kyiv Post reported that the Central Asian country's efforts to upgrade its military capabilities seemed to coincide with its increasing engagement with Western nations, signaling a shift away from historical ties with Moscow.

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, visited Kazakhstan in February 2023, where he said that the US strongly supported "its independence, its territorial integrity," according to Agence France-Presse .

Some of Russia's outspoken propagandists have suggested that Russia should look to Kazakhstan following its invasion of Ukraine.

One Russian TV commentator, Vladimir Solovyov , said his country "must pay attention to the fact that Kazakhstan is the next problem because the same Nazi processes can start there as in Ukraine."

Agreements on trade, education, environment, and mineral supplies reflect the deepening ties between Kazakhstan and Western nations as it navigates geopolitical challenges posed by neighboring countries such as Russia, China, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Correction: April 28, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the currency conversion rate of the Kazakhstani tenge to the dollar. One billion tenge is worth $2.26 million, not $1.5 million.

Watch: Russia is buying back weapons it sold to other countries as its arsenal runs low

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