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The rise and fall of Russian oligarchs – and their superyachts

The invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February caused an international outcry.

Sanctions came thick and fast, aimed at restricting the wealth of those with links to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The US Congress had authorized targeted interventions against Kremlin loyalists in response to their intelligence agencies’ involvement into election season hacks that America believes were crafted primarily out of FSB; however it wasn’t until late summer when Washington finally announced a slate of names – including Oleg Deripaska (an oligarch Economy), Alex Krackovitch Eugene receive Jr.(a top military prosecutor) Andrey Paraschivev(CEO Of Rusal).

2022 Invasion of Ukraine and sanctions[edit]

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Canada, US, and European leaders with the addition of Japan, took unprecedented steps to sanction Putin and the oligarchs directly.[52] In response to the sanctions, the targeted oligarchs started to hide wealth in an attempt to prevent the Western nations from freezing their assets. These sanctions intend to directly impact the Russian ruling class as a response for their perceived contribution and acquiescence to the war with Ukraine. Although the sanctions tend to miss the richest oligarchs, the impact on the war is unknown due to Putin’s power over those that were sanctioned  Since the invasion began, nine of the Russian oligarchs’ yachts have turned their navigation transponders off as they sail to ports where they are less likely to be searched and seized.[55]

In addition to freezing foreign holdings, restricting travel, and severing business ties, the sanctions aim to impact the personal lives of a number of oligarchs[56] including;[57]

On March 2, 2022, the United States announced a special task force dubbed “Task Force KleptoCapture“. This team was put together to specifically target oligarchs. It is made up of officials from the FBIMarshals ServiceIRSPostal Inspection ServiceHomeland Security Investigations and Secret Service. The main goal of the task force is to impose the sanctions set against these individuals to freeze and seize the assets that the US government claimed were proceeds of their illegal involvement with the Russian government and the invasion of Ukraine.


On March 21, 2022, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project launched Russian Asset Tracker to showcase the profiles and assets of several Russian oligarchs, However, sanctioning and seizing a superyacht costs millions every year in maintenance and berthing. Governments that were keen to be seen as zealoulsy capturing the assets of the oligarchs are much less keen now, with experience, to seize a high maintenance yacht.

Better, it seems, to throttle the funds that are needed to keep the superyacht operative. 

Will the market be full soon of run down degraded yachts. Is there a market for pre-loved?

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