Skip to main content

A short list of Russian yacht seizures

A short list of Russian yacht seizures

/

By all means, make it longer, though

Share this story

Spain Impounds $154 Million Russian-Owned ‘Valerie’ Superyacht
Image: Getty

Russian oligarchs have been looking for ways to park their money outside Vladimir Putin’s control for a long time, and the tackiest method available to them is the megayacht — so obviously, there are a lot of them. It is remarkably satisfying to see the yachts get seized.

An expensive toy for worthless people, the megayacht is the epitome of conspicuous consumption. For instance, the Amore Vero, linked to Rosneft CEO Igor “Darth Vader” Sechin, has a swimming pool that converts to a helicopter platform. This boat exists only to please Sechin and impress his guests; it has a similar relationship to regular boats as handmade silk toilet paper does to Charmin.

Here is a short and delightful list of megayacht action:

  • Sechin attempted to evade sanctions by ordering the Amore Vero to sail to Turkey. It was seized in France.
  • Former KGB officer Sergei Chemezov, who now leads Rostec, had his 279-foot $140 million megayacht seized in Spain. “There will be more,” promised Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez. Can’t wait, babe.
  • Not actually a seizure, but possibly funnier: former KGB agent Vladimir Strzhalkovsky has a yacht named Ragnar that’s stuck in Norway. Aboard Ragnar are lots of toys, such as “a BigBo amphibious ATV, heli-skiing equipment, four See-Doos, four ski scooters, six Seabobs, a multipurpose island and a giant slide.” It can’t go anywhere because no one will sell it fuel. The yacht’s captain finds this “extremely unjust,” according to NPR.
  • The $735 million superyacht Dilbar, named for Kremlin-tied oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s mother, was possibly seized in Germany, depending on your definition of “seized.” (Government officials say it’s not seized per se; it just can’t leave.) It has the dubious honor of sporting the largest indoor swimming pool ever installed on a private vehicle. Here is a video of Usmanov gloating about his yacht:
  • Sailing Yacht A, worth $578 million, was seized by Italy’s financial police. Its owner, sanctioned fertilizer mogul Andrey Melnichenko, told CNN through a spokesman that Melnichenko has “no political affiliations.” Yes, I’m sure he got one of the largest yachts in the world by being a normal businessman. Here is a video of the seizure:
  • Italy has been quite busy, actually! Italian authorities have also seized Gennady Timchenko’s megayacht, Lena, which is worth either $8 million or $55 million, depending on who you’re asking.
  • Another one on the board for Italy: the Lady M, worth at least $27 million (though the Italian government thinks it is worth more). In addition to its pool and helicopter landing pad, the Lady M also has its own salon, so no one aboard will have to suffer the indignity of doing their own hair.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.