Russian tycoon’s yacht sunk by a Ukrainian mechanic who said ‘I would do it again’

March 2, 2022, 12:22 AM UTC

A Ukrainian mechanic said he tried to sink a Russian tycoon’s superyacht in Majorca, the largest island off the eastern coast of Spain, after seeing a video of Russia’s attack on Kyiv.

Taras Ostapchuk was accused in a local court of opening valves in the engine room of the vessel, called Lady Anastasia, according to the Wall Street Journal. The yacht belongs to Alexander Mikheev, the chief executive officer of Rosoboronexport, a Russian weapons exporter.

“There was a video of a helicopter attack on a building in Kyiv, the Russians are killing innocents,” Ostapchuk, who had worked on the yacht for 10 years, said in court, according to the Journal. “I don’t regret anything I’ve done and I would do it again.”

He was released pending an investigation. 

The Russian elite’s yachts and private jets, two of the most opulent displays of massive wealth, have drawn public scrutiny in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week. They’re usually parked all over the globe, though recent sanctions are set to limit their travels.  

Lady Anastasia isn’t the only Russian-owned yacht currently in Palma, the resort city in the Balearic Islands. Viktor Vekselberg’s yacht Tango is also in Majorca, according to data tracked by Bloomberg. 

Vekselberg is the chairman of Renova, an investment group that owns a stake in Russia’s biggest aluminum company, United Co. Rusal. He’s also Russia’s seventh-richest person, with a fortune of $16.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Barcelona’s Boats

Spain hosts another three Russian-linked superyachts in Barcelona. Until recently the collection included Lukoil PJSC Chairman Vagit Alekperov’s Galactic Super Nova. On Saturday it departed for Montenegro, arriving in Tivat earlier on Tuesday.

One vessel still anchored in Barcelona: Roman Abramovich’s 461-foot Solaris, which was completed last year at an estimated cost of $600 million, according to the website Superyacht Fan.

Lady Anastasia is on sale for $7.2 million and has been on the market since April, according to the Journal.

After his release, Ostapchuk said he would fly to Poland and head to Ukraine to fight against the Russians, according to local newspaper Ultima Hora.

“I’m a middle-aged man, but I have a lot of experience as a mechanic,” he said. “I’ve never held a weapon, but if necessary I will.”

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