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Italy won't say who's paying for the care of a $700 million superyacht tied to Putin

Dustin Jones

putin's yacht worth

The Scheherazade, a 460-foot superyacht, has been held in Italy since May 2022 in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It is believed to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Laura Lezza/Getty Images hide caption

The Scheherazade, a 460-foot superyacht, has been held in Italy since May 2022 in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It is believed to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Scheherazade superyacht was impounded by the Italian government in May 2022 in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Instead of falling into disrepair, Italy has allowed its owner to maintain and refit the vessel, but it won't disclose who is footing the bill.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the vessel has been held at port in Marina di Carrara, located almost 90 miles northwest of Florence, since it was impounded by authorities in the spring of 2022. For over a year, the Italian government has permitted the owner to continue paying for the ship's staff, its maintenance and refitting of the vessel. But Italy won't identify the owner.

Italy's Finance Ministry said in a May 2022 news release that the superyacht had "significant economic and business links" with "prominent elements of the Russian government" but didn't name the owner of the ship.

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According to the website SuperYachtFan , the 460-foot superyacht belongs to Russian billionaire Eduard Khudainatov. However, Bloomberg News reported in 2022 that he is a "straw owner" of the superyacht — as well as another ship — and that the Scheherazade actually belongs to Putin.

The Financial Times reported that the Scheherazade has 22 cabins, two helicopter decks and a spa and that it's being refitted by the Italian Sea Group. NPR reached out to the Italian Sea Group for comment but did not hear back before publication.

The United States created Task Force KleptoCapture in the wake of Putin's war against Ukraine, aiming to hold Russian oligarchs accountable for evading sanctions. In its one year of operation, the task force has brought charges to at least 35 individuals and entities, NPR previously reported.

Part of those efforts included seizing luxury items belonging to billionaires with ties to the Kremlin. This includes items like a 348-foot yacht seized in Fiji in May 2022, which is valued at about $300 million and is now sitting in San Diego.

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This yacht makes a Bond villain’s boat look like a dinghy.

Vladimir Putin, whose forces continue to attack Ukraine , spared no expense on his alleged $700 million superyacht, which comes complete with its own dance floor — and even golden toilet paper holders. Rumors that the boat belonged to him have been swirling since its construction; however, anti-Kremlin activists recently claimed that it is indeed Putin’s .

“It’s like a mini city,” an unnamed worker reportedly involved in its construction told the Sun of the 495-foot luxury vessel, which is moored in Marina di Carrara in Italy. “There are countless swimming pools, a spa, a sauna, a theatre, ballrooms, a gym, two helipads.” 

Known as Scheherazade — after the iconic Persian queen from literature — the opulent watercraft was reportedly estimated at £500 million ($6.6 million), although insider sources price it closer to £750 million ($990 million).

"It's like a mini city," an unnamed worker involved in the yacht's construction told the Sun.

And it appears that Putin put his money where his boat is: Photos obtained by the Sun show the veritable maritime mansion and its six floors of swanky amenities. They include a 16-foot aquarium, multiple televisions — including a 15-foot beast spanning an entire wall — and a self-leveling pool table so that guests can play even when the sea turns turbulent.

There are also bathrooms outfitted with King Midas-evoking gold taps and toilet paper holders, plus a tile dance floor that converts into a pool. Scheherazade is thought to be one of only two ships in the world with that feature, the Sun reported; the other is Putin’s second yacht, Graceful.

Along with standard bling, the Russian president decked out the superyacht with personal touches, including a judo room with framed pictures of black belts, plus various books showcasing the autocrat’s worship of wealth.

“Every surface is either marble or gold,” an unnamed boatbuilder told the Sun of the glitzy vessel, which the worker finds especially obscene in light of current events.

“It is hard to swallow the fact that the most incredible ship in the world is owned by a man intent on bombing civilians in Ukraine,” he continued. “And it is an unimaginable amount of wealth when the average Russian’s salary is £5,000 a year, and people there are struggling to eat.”

The centerpiece is a tile dance floor that converts into a pool. Scheherazade is thought to be one of only two ships with the feature — the other also owned by Putin.

The ritzy ship isn’t just built for pleasure cruises. Much like the baddie’s superyacht in the movie “Thunderball,” Scheherazade can supposedly transform from a party boat to a battleship in a flash with a state-of-the-art security system reportedly capable of shooting down drones.

If that wasn’t ostentatious enough, the superyacht-cum-aircraft-carrier also contains two helipads and a hangar than can house a helicopter, six Jet Skis, five dinghies and eight Seabob underwater scooters.

Scheherazade was built over two years ago. However, the vessel’s alleged ties to Putin came to light recently after activists affiliated with jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny claimed that some of the crewmembers worked for the Federal Security Service, which handles the Russian leader’s security.

“To sum up, a dozen of Vladimir Putin’s personal guards and servants are constantly maintaining one of the world’s largest yachts docked in an Italian port,” investigative journalist and Navalny ally Maria Pevchikh wrote on Twitter Monday.

Putin Yacht - It's the Scheherszade (an Arabic princess in legend). It's currently docked in MARINA DI CARRARA in Italy and it's registered in the Cayman Islands. It's the 14th biggest yacht in the world. There are lots of external pics online and details, but nothing about it's "mystery billionaire owner". It reportedly cost $700mil to build. , , It has an entirely Russian crew (pics of names attached from tipster) which is very unusual for a super yacht. https://www.superyachttimes.com/yachts/scheherazade, We know about Putin's other yacht, Graceful, which was recently moved from Germany to Russia when it all started to kick off. The tipster has said that the new yacht, finished in 2020, also has a dancefloor which moves down into a swimming pool. He believes the two yachts are the only two in the world to have that feature. He's also sent over judo pics which are on the wall of the gym. , , From the tipster - "The vessel is owned by a company called Bielor Asset. But previously under a different named company named Diams Overseas Limited. I have also attached a photo of some names of the Russian crew. I have also shown the NDA by imperial yachts. "

Meanwhile, during a Tuesday address to the Italian parliament, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky implored Italy to confiscate the assets of Putin and his supporters, who he claimed frequently traveled to Italy, the Guardian reported .

“Don’t be a resort for murderers,” he said, urging Italian authorities to seize every yacht “from the Scheherazade to the smallest ones.”

The ship is currently being investigated by authorities for potential ties to sanctioned Russians.

See the full set of image at The Sun

Despite the accusations, the Scheherazade’s British captain, Guy Bennett-Pearce, has denied that Putin has ever owned or even set foot on the vessel.

“I have never seen him. I have never met him,”  he told the New York Times , adding that the vessel’s owner was not on any sanctions list.

Earlier in March, Italian officials seized several superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs, including Alexey Mordashov’s 213-foot vessel , Gennady Timchenko’s 132-foot watercraft and Audrey Melnichenko’s $578 million, 469-foot superyacht.

The seizures are among the latest efforts to hit Putin and those close to him over Russia’s brutal assault against Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24. 

The yacht boasts two helipads.

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"It's like a mini city," an unnamed worker involved in the yacht's construction told the Sun.


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Satellite image shows super yacht linked to Putin out of reach of sanctions

By Catherine Herridge , Michael Kaplan, Andrew Bast, Jessica Kegu

March 3, 2022 / 7:30 AM EST / CBS News

As Europe and the U.S. bear down with a raft of aggressive sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, the super yacht he is believed to own has found safe harbor in a highly militarized port in Russian territorial waters. In new satellite imagery obtained by CBS News, the yacht can be seen docked in a port in Kaliningrad, near Russia's nuclear weapons operations. 

Experts say Putin's luxury vessel has become a symbol not only of his vast hidden wealth, but also of how challenging that money has been to find. 

"He's a KGB agent, so he's crafty. He knows how to hide when he needs to," said John Smith, former director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers and enforces all foreign sanctions.

Putin's purported yacht "Graceful" docked in Kaliningrad, Russia

Data from MarineTraffic, a global intelligence group, shows Putin's alleged yacht, the Graceful, left Germany two weeks before the invasion of Ukraine . 

Putin's government salary is said to be about $140,000, but that doesn't begin to explain the mansions, million-dollar watch collection and over-the-top yacht. 

"It would be fair to say he's among the richest men in the world," Smith said. 

Though he sells himself as a man of the people, his wealth is estimated to be more than $100 billion. 

Putin's critics allege he also has a cliffside palace that includes an amphitheater and a personal tunnel to the beach that doubles as a security bunker. 

Palace in Gelendzhik, Russia

"Of course, he doesn't acknowledge it as being his own," Smith said. "It doesn't fit with the public persona that he's trying to create to actually acknowledge it." 

Putin relies on his oligarch friends to shield his fortune from sanctions, Smith said. 

"So if he asked them to do something, they do it in terms of hiding assets, squirreling them in different parts of the globe, they will do what he needs," he said. 

Those who have tried to expose Putin's fortune have done so at great personal risk. 

Putin critic Boris Nemtsov was assassinated on a bridge in the shadow of the Kremlin in 2015. Sergei Magnitsky died in 2009 under questionable circumstances in prison after he exposed $230 million in fraud by Putin's friends. Putin publicly condemned Nemtsov's murder and claimed Magnitsky died of a heart attack.  

His most recent No. 1 critic, Alexei Navalny , who helped expose Putin's lavish palace, emerged as a political rival and found himself repeatedly jailed. He nearly died after being poisoned two years ago, though Putin has denied responsibility for the poisoning. 

"Putin's wealth is one of the most dangerous topics," said Russian journalist Roman Badanin, who spent two decades investigating Putin's financial web. 

Badanin said Russian authorities sought to intimidate and silence his reporting team. Six months ago, he reached his breaking point. 

"I fled the country. My apartment was searched twice. I have like three criminal charges against me back in Russia," he said. 

In his State of the Union address, President Biden said the U.S. and its allies are waging economic war on Putin and Russian oligarchs. 

"We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments and your private jets," Biden said. 

On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced the formation of a new task force that would target Russian oligarchs. 

"Russia is not a transparent economy," Smith said. "The U.S. and our allies have decent information on some of [Putin's] assets, I think a lot will remain a mystery for a long time in the future." 

The biggest financial hit for Putin would be sanctions on the energy sector, which Smith says the Russian president has used to build up his wealth for years. So far, Washington and the Europeans have been hesitant to do that. 

  • Vladimir Putin


Catherine Herridge is a senior investigative correspondent for CBS News covering national security and intelligence based in Washington, D.C.

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Scheherazade: Giant £570m superyacht ‘owned by Vladimir Putin’ is seized by Italian authorities

The ‘scheherazade’ had been undergoing a refit in tuscany since last september, article bookmarked.

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The Italian government has seized a luxury superyacht worth an estimated £570m that is believed to be linked to Russian president Vladimir Putin .

The vessel was impounded as part of the EU’s sanctions against Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine , under which similar yachts belonging to Russian oligarchs have been confiscated.

The six-deck Scheherazade had been undergoing repairs in the port of Marina di Carrara in Tuscany since last September. Recent activity at the dockside suggested that the crew were preparing to put the yacht to sea, as calls grew for it to be included in the sanctions.

The Italian finance ministry said in a statement that the owner of the yacht had ties to “prominent elements of the Russian government”, without naming them. US officials have previously told The New York Times that the vessel could belong to Mr Putin, though there has been no official confirmation of this.

Supporters of the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were also of the belief that the vessel belonged to the Russian president. In a report released in March , an organisation set up by Mr Navalny said it had evidence that the boat belonged to Mr Putin, as several crew members were drawn from Russia’s Federal Protective Service (FSO), which is tasked with protecting the president.

A view shows the superyacht ‘Scheherazade’ docked in the Tuscan port

In March, the ship’s British captain, Guy Bennett-Pearce, denied that Mr Putin had ever owned or set foot on the Scheherezade . “I have never seen him. I have never met him,” he told the The New York Times .

Days later, Mr Bennett-Pearce said he had been left with “no choice” but to reveal the owner’s identity to the Italian police, adding: “I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this will clear the vessel of all negative rumours and speculations.”

Police boarded the yacht – which is over 450ft long and has two helicopter landing pads – late on Friday to execute the order, the government said.

Officials said they had struggled to identify the real owner of the boat, as it is registered in the Cayman Islands and was built by the German firm Lürssen. The yacht was delivered to its owner in 2020 and can host up to 18 guests and 40 crew, Reuters reported.

Italian authorities said the owner was not on any sanctions lists drawn up by Brussels since Mr Putin’s declaration of war on 24 February, although Rome has asked Brussels to rectify this.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, while addressing the Italian parliament in March, urged the government to impound the yacht as part of the EU’s efforts to put pressure on Mr Putin.

Italy confiscated yachts and villas worth over £770m in March and April from Russian billionaires with close ties to Mr Putin, in a bid to hurt Moscow financially.

Earlier in March, Italy seized a £530m megayacht owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, as oligarchs around the world scrambled to save their yachts and other luxury assets from western governments.

And in April the German authorities seized the world’s largest superyacht, Dilbar , sprawling over 512ft, which belonged to billionaire Alisher Usmanov before he transferred its ownership to his sister.

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A 459-Foot Mystery in a Tuscan Port: Is It a Russian’s Superyacht?

As European authorities go after the luxury assets of oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin, a superyacht cloaked in secrecy has come under investigation.

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putin's yacht worth

By Michael Forsythe ,  Gaia Pianigiani and David D. Kirkpatrick

From Germany’s North Sea ports to the French Riviera, open season has been declared on superyachts. Across Europe, authorities are hunting down luxury vessels tied to Russian oligarchs in the effort to inflict pain on President Vladimir V. Putin’s allies.

In Marina di Carrara, a small Italian town on the Tuscan coast, one of the world’s biggest, newest and most expensive superyachts — called the Scheherazade — is under scrutiny by the Italian police. Almost as long as a U.S. guided-missile destroyer, it dominates the waterfront.

The yacht, estimated by the website SuperYachtFan to cost about $700 million, has two helicopter decks and is studded with satellite domes. Inside, photos supplied by a former crew member show, is a swimming pool with a retractable cover that converts to a dance floor. Then there’s the fully equipped gym and the gold-plated fixtures in the bathrooms.

In the rarefied world of the biggest superyachts ( only 14 that are at least 140 meters, or 459 feet long), the Scheherazade is alone in that no likely owner has been publicly identified. That has spurred speculation that it could be a Middle Eastern billionaire or a superconnected Russian — even Mr. Putin.

The ship’s captain, Guy Bennett-Pearce, a British national, denied that Mr. Putin owned or had ever been on the yacht. “I have never seen him. I have never met him,” he said. He added, in a phone interview from the yacht, that its owner was not on any sanctions list. He did not rule out that the person could be Russian, but declined to say more about the owner’s identity, citing a “watertight nondisclosure agreement.”

Captain Bennett-Pearce said that Italian investigators had come aboard on Friday and examined some of the ship’s certification documents. “They are looking hard. They are looking at every aspect,” he said. “This isn’t the local coppers coming down, these are men in dark suits.” A person familiar with the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it, confirmed that the Italian financial police had opened an inquiry.

On Monday night, Captain Bennett-Pearce said he had “no choice” but to hand over documents revealing the owner’s identity to the Italian authorities. He said he would do so on Tuesday and had been told they would be handled with “confidentiality.”

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this will clear the vessel of all negative rumors and speculations,” he wrote in a message to a New York Times reporter.

The mystery about the ship’s owner arose because — even for the hyper-confidential world of superyachting — there is an unusual degree of secrecy surrounding this vessel. Not only do contractors and crew members sign nondisclosure agreements, as on many superyachts, but the ship also has a cover to hide its name plate. And when it first arrived at the port, workers erected a tall metallic barrier on the pier to partly obscure the yacht from onlookers. Some locals remarked that they had never seen anything like it for other boats.

In his State of the Union address last week, President Biden announced a Justice Department task force to go after oligarchs close to Mr. Putin and facing sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions have been imposed against hundreds of people, and the list keeps growing.

Last week, French authorities seized the yacht Amore Vero near Marseille as it was preparing to depart, claiming it was owned by a man on that list: Igor Sechin, the head of the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft. In Italy, police in Sanremo impounded Lena, a yacht belonging to Gennady Timchenko, a Putin friend who controls an oil exporting company. In nearby Imperia, police also impounded the Lady M, a yacht belonging to Alexei Mordashov, Russia’s richest man. The fate of the Dilbar, one of the world’s biggest yachts that the United States says belongs to the oligarch Alisher Usmanov, is unclear. It is in Hamburg, and German officials said the vessel could not leave without an export waiver, Bloomberg News reported .

Some of the biggest superyachts are owned by Russians who are not on the sanctions list. The world’s second-largest, Eclipse, which has a missile defense system and a mini submarine, is owned by Roman Abramovich, the billionaire who is selling his ownership stake in the British soccer club Chelsea. Andrey Melnichenko, a billionaire coal baron, owns Sailing Yacht A.

Determining the ownership of assets that the wealthy want to keep hidden is difficult, especially without a warrant, because they are often zealously guarded by private bankers and lawyers and tucked away in opaque shell companies in offshore secrecy havens. The Scheherazade is flagged in the Cayman Islands and its owner, Bielor Assets Ltd. , is registered in the Marshall Islands. The yacht’s management company, which Captain Bennett-Pearce says is also registered in the Cayman Islands, works from the ship and uses his rental villa in nearby Lucca as its address.

One trade website, which bills itself as “the global authority in superyachting,” claims that the vessel’s owner is “known to be a Middle Eastern billionaire.” The Scheherazade shares a name with the female storyteller in “The Arabian Nights,” and it made one brief foray into the Red Sea in September 2020, calling at the Egyptian port of Hurghada. But mostly it stays in Marina di Carrara, where it has been moored since last September.

Locals have their own theory about the ship’s ownership. Some have heard people onboard speaking Russian. And Scheherazade is also the title of a symphonic work by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

“Everybody calls it Putin’s yacht, but nobody knows whose it is,” said Ernesto Rossi, a retired clerk who was taking a walk along the marina’s promenade on Friday. “It’s a rumor that’s been going around for months.”

In Italy, the phrase “Putin’s yacht” has become shorthand for a mysterious and ultra-luxurious ship. It’s also a joke among the dozens of crew members, Captain Bennett-Pearce said. “I’ve heard the same rumors.”

Another, smaller vessel, the Graceful, has long been tied to the Russian president and is known as “Putin’s yacht.” It was tracked leaving Germany for the Russian port of Kaliningrad just weeks before the invasion of Ukraine. (U.S. government officials point out that Mr. Putin owns little outright; many of the luxurious homes or ships he uses are owned by oligarchs.)

Mr. Putin appears to have a penchant for big pleasure boats. During his time as Russia’s leader, he’s been photographed on yachts from Russia’s northern reaches to the Black Sea in the south. Last May, he and Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, took a cruise on a yacht at the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The Scheherazade’s builder, Lurssen Group, whose website promises customers “complete confidentiality,” declined to comment about its ownership. Until June 2020, when the completed ship left the pier in Bremen, Germany, it had the code name “Lightning.” The same company built the even bigger superyacht the Dilbar. A similar gigantic yacht, code-named “Luminance,” is now being built at Lurssen, scheduled to be completed next year.

“Of course, all orders and projects of the Lurssen Group and its subsidiaries are treated in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations,” said Oliver Grun, a company spokesman.

About 70 percent of the Scheherazade’s crew is Russian, Captain Bennett-Pearce said. And during each of the past two summers, it has sailed to Sochi, the last time in early July 2021, according to MarineTraffic, a top maritime analytics provider. The ship’s construction was managed by Imperial Yachts, a company in Monaco that, Reuters reported , manages the Amore Vero, Mr. Sechin’s seized yacht. Nick Flashman, who oversees construction of large vessels at Imperial Yachts, declined to comment.

One former crew member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the nondisclosure agreement, said that shipmates called it “Putin’s yacht.” The person said the ship was manned by an international crew during “boss off” times; when it was “boss on,” the crew was replaced by an all-Russian staff. In the weeks before the Scheherazade’s 2020 trip to the Black Sea, the foreign crew was dismissed, the person said.

The former crew member supplied photos of rosters of both international and Russian crew members. The Times reached out, via social media, phone or email, to at least 17 of them. Few responded.

One of the Russians said only that he had worked on the Scheherazade, citing a nondisclosure agreement. Another person said it would be dangerous to talk. One man denied serving on the vessel; another said he hadn’t worked at sea in 25 years.

Captain Bennett-Pearce said “categorically there is not a European crew that comes on and a Russian crew that comes on.” Many of the ship’s senior officers are from Britain, New Zealand and Spain. Many international crew members were dismissed in 2020, replaced by Russians who didn’t demand the high salaries and benefits that their predecessors had, the captain said. “It came down to economics,” he said.

Given the antipathy that people outside of Russia have toward Mr. Putin, if the Russian president really were the owner or principal user of the yacht, keeping non-Russian senior crew members like him on staff would make no sense, Captain Bennett-Pearce said.

“If there’s a European crew onboard it’s the biggest smoke and mirror and the biggest risk I’ve ever heard of,” he said.

Reporting was contributed by Dmitriy Khavin , Christoph Koettl , Julian E. Barnes , Jason Horowitz , Rebecca R. Ruiz and Eric Schmitt .

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the new task force announced by President Biden in his State of the Union address. He announced a Justice Department task force to pursue and seize the assets of oligarchs associated with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, not a joint task force with partners in Europe, which was previously announced.

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Michael Forsythe is a reporter on the investigations team. He was previously a correspondent in Hong Kong, covering the intersection of money and politics in China. He has also worked at Bloomberg News and is a United States Navy veteran. More about Michael Forsythe

Gaia Pianigiani is a reporter based in Italy for The New York Times.  More about Gaia Pianigiani

David D. Kirkpatrick is an investigative reporter based in New York and the author of “Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East.“ In 2020 he shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on covert Russian interference in other governments and as the Cairo bureau chief from 2011 to 2015 he led coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings. More about David D. Kirkpatrick

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Vladimir Putin and His OTT Superyacht Collection

putin's yacht worth

Vladimir Putin is one of the most polarising political figures in the world. Love him, or hate him, he has a stronghold over the Russian political system and is therefore likely to be in the public consciousness for many years to come. He has accumulated a massive estimated fortune of $70-200 billion and has made sure to spend it on what matters: building his own superyacht fleet (because one isn’t enough, apparently). Read on to find out all about the boats that make up his $150 million collection.

The Graceful

putin's yacht worth

The Graceful is both the largest and most expensive yacht in Putin’s current collection. It was built by Sevmash in Russia before heading to Germany for outfitting by  Blohm + Voss  in 2014. The Graceful was then sold to the billionaire for a staggering $100 million. If you thought the outright cost was outrageous, wait until you hear its annual running costs ($5-10 million every year). The Graceful is a sleek and stylish steel/aluminium ship that features good looking design by  H2 . The yacht is a party palace, with space to accommodate up to 14 guests and a 15×10 foot dance floor to keep visitors entertained. When the dance floor is not in use, it handily transforms into a luxurious indoor pool.  

putin's yacht worth

Chayka, which means ‘The Seagull’ in English, is the next superyacht belonging to Vladimir Putin. The 54m vessel was built in 2009 by the Turkish shipyard Turquoise Yachts. Two years later, after chartering the vessel, Putin decided to buy it for the Russian Presidential Administration. Chayka was purchased to host formal events and meetings between political figures. With a swimming pool, jacuzzi, gym and beach club as well as a 100sqm dining room, it certainly can’t be the worst place to go on a business trip. The superyacht is estimated to be worth $34-45 million.

The Olympia

vladimir putin superyacht

The third superyacht owned by the Russian President (and apparently his personal favourite) is The Olympia. Built in 2002 by renowned Dutch shipbuilder  Feadship , the 57m vessel features interior design by Mark Hampton and John Gallagher. Not very much is known about this vessel, just that it is rumoured to have been a gift from Roman Abramovich to Putin. If the rumours are true, the vessel, which has an estimated cost of $35-50 million, surely has to be one of the most extravagant gifts ever given.

The final yacht owned by Vladimir Putin is the somewhat more humble Petrel, which measures 35m in length. Unfortunately, Petrel remains mysterious, with very little information available. We know that Petrel has a maximum speed of 14 knots and a cruising speed of 10 knots. The elegantly decorated cabins with private balconies can house 16 guests comfortably and 12 crew members. Whilst the price of the vessel is unknown, a similar model is known to have sold at $16.8 million, so a price tag in this region is likely.

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Inside Putin's luxury yacht: Photos show dance floor that morphs into pool, marble-and-gold bathroom and more

Putin's yacht estimated to be worth over $700 million.

Audrey Conklin

Putin spokesman won't rule out nuclear attack against Ukraine

Kash Patel, former defense department chief of staff, discusses Russia's strategy to not take nuclear options off the table and warns against the use of chemical weapons which impact civilians for generations.

Photos showing the inside of Vladimir Putin 's yacht currently moored in Italy reveal a lifestyle of luxury and grandeur behind the autocratic Russian president, as his country faces severe international economic sanctions due to the ongoing war with Ukraine.

The yacht includes excessive features ranging from a gold toilet paper holder in a marble bathroom, and a tile dance floor surrounded by water that can shift below floor level to become a pool. For the full set of photos, visit The Sun .

"Every surface is marble or gold. There are countless swimming pools, a spa, a sauna, a theater, ballrooms, a gym, two helipads. It’s like a mini city," one of the builders of the yacht told The Sun.

Golden toilet paper roll holder on Putin's yacht.

Golden toilet paper roll holder on Putin's yacht.


Other features on the six-deck, 459-foot yacht include a self-leveling pool table, a 16-foot aquarium, a Jacuzzi, a dining room, a judo gym, two helicopter pads, six jet skis and more, according to the outlet.

Tile dancefloor that transforms into a pool on Putin's yacht

Tile dance floor that transforms into a pool on Putin's yacht.

It even includes "a hospital," the builder said.


Scheherazade, one of the world's biggest and most expensive yachts allegedly linked to Russian billionaires, is moored in the harbour of the small Italian town of Marina di Carrara, Italy, March 23, 2022. Addressing the Italian parliament on March 22 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Italian officials to seize the Scheherazade yacht as well as other assets allegedly linked to Russian oligarchs. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Scheherazade, one of the world's biggest and most expensive yachts allegedly linked to Russian billionaires, is moored in the harbor of the small Italian town of Marina di Carrara, Italy, on March 23, 2022. (REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini)

"It is hard to swallow the fact that the most incredible ship in the world is owned by a man intent on bombing civilians in Ukraine," he continued. "And it is an unimaginable amount of wealth when the average Russian’s salary is £5,000 [$6,600] a year, and people there are struggling to eat."

The mega yacht called The Scheherazade, named after the character of a Persian queen in Middle Eastern folklore, is estimated to be worth upwards of $700 million, according to Putin opposition leader Alexi Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, or FBK.

Vladimir Putin's luxury yacht.

Inside Vladimir Putin's luxury yacht.


"Russian people paid for it. Putin needs his head flushing down that golden throne," an ex-crew member told The Sun.

Vladimir Putin's yacht

Comfortable living inside Putin's yacht.


As Russia's unprovoked war on Ukraine continues, there has been increased pressure on Italian officials to crack down on Russian yachts stationed along the country's coastline.

U.S. and European officials have been working to seize excessive yachts belonging to Putin's oligarch allies and moored in various NATO countries.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.

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How Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly became the world’s richest person

He claims to earn just $140,000 a year, but ruthless dictator Vladimir Putin may actually be the richest man on the planet.

Shannon Molloy

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The world’s richest person, according to official rankings, is tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, with a net worth of $333 billion.

But it’s a title the Tesla owner famously disputed; and not for the accuracy of the estimates about his wealth.

“I do think that Putin is significantly richer than me,” Musk sensationally claimed in an interview with German businessman and journalist Mathias Dopfner.

When asked by a shocked Dopfner to elaborate, the tech billionaire remained tight-lipped.

But his claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is really the richest person in the world is one that’s been repeated at the highest levels for several years now.

On official lists, Elon Musk is the world’s richest person – but even he disputes that. Picture: AFP

Putin insists he earns just $140,000 a year as president, lives in a modest and pokey 74 sqm apartment in central Moscow, and has few other assets.

But his extraordinarily lavish lifestyle is hard to marry with his supposedly modest government salary.

According to reports, the dictator owns a fleet of luxury cars, dozens of private jets , palatial mega yachts, including one worth $900 million, an extensive designer wardrobe , and a high-end watch collection worth millions.

Experts claim his real estate holdings are in the billions too, including a castle-like mansion on the outskirts of Moscow that’s twice the size of Buckingham Palace.

A Google Earth satellite image purporting to show Vladimir Putin's latest real estate purchase – a palace-like mansion in Moscow worth $2.08 billion.

Various holding companies and associates are used to mask his ownership of high-priced piles across the globe, reports claim, including in the South of France and even New York City.

But his pride and joy is a sprawling billion-dollar estate overlooking the Black Sea and boasting dozens of bedrooms, a private nightclub, a casino, an underground ice hockey rink, a movie theatre and a wine vineyard.

The enormous property, sitting on 65ha of manicured gardens, has been dubbed ‘Putin’s Palace’ by critics and is reportedly worth $2.08 billion. The president denies he owns it.

‘Mafia-like’ money model

The American-British financier Bill Browder, co-founder of the investment firm Hermitage Capital, once invested heavily in Russia before becoming a fierce critic of Putin.

In an interview with CNN in 2018, Mr Browder claimed the president’s wealth is “worth multiples” of what has been claimed.

“The wealth came as a result of extortion and massive theft from state funds,” he said.

At the time, he estimated Putin’s real net wealth to be in the order of US$200 billion (AU$304 billion).

That figure has substantially ballooned in the several years since, critics say.

The enormous estate known as ‘Putin’s Palace’. Picture: AFP

Back in 2016, the explosive Panama Papers data leak, which combined the efforts of 370 journalists from 80 countries to reveal dodgy financial dealings contained in 11 million documents, offered some clues about Putin’s money movements.

“Though the president’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage,” The Guardian reported at the time.

The main player in the documents related to Russia was a classical cellist named Sergei Roldugin, who previously claimed to drive an old second-hand car and play used instruments.

And yet, the Panama Papers seemed to indicate that Roldugin was really worth billions.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and cellist Sergei Roldugin. Picture: AFP

“Roldugin wasn’t just a cellist, but also Putin’s best friend going back to the 1970,” Mr Browder wrote in his book ‘Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath’.

“How had Roldugin become so wealthy? The answer, in my opinion, is that this cellist was serving as a nominee for his longtime friend, Vladimir Putin,” he added.

To get a sense of how much money Putin has, Browder suggested dividing the wealth of virtually any Russian oligarch by two.

“If you see an oligarch worth $20 billion, chances are, $10 billion of that belongs to Putin,” he said.

It’s a model the famed Forbes magazine believes is most likely, explaining in a 2022 feature that Putin helps friends and family get rich by “awarding them government contracts or ownership in businesses”.

“In return, the theory goes, he gets kickbacks of cash or stakes in the companies. In some ways, it sounds like a mafia structure, whereby soldiers and capos (in this case billionaires) are in perpetual debt to the boss (Putin). They do the dirty work, he takes a cut.”

Take the president’s former judo partner, Arkady Rotenberg.

Arkady Rotenberg scored several billion worth of contracts for the Sochi Olympics. Picture: AFP

In the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, Rotenberg ‘won’ some $7 billion worth of contracts for the construction of everything from ski resorts to a power plant.

Forbes magazine, which carefully calculates the riches of the world’s elite – whether they want it revealed or not – conceded even it couldn’t track Putin’s fortune.

It once described the task as “probably the most elusive riddle in wealth hunting”.

For his part, Putin has repeatedly swatted away the accusations – while wearing a $60,000 Patek Phillipe watch, mind you.

“I am the wealthiest man, not just in Europe but in the whole world because I collect emotions,” he once said.

“I am wealthy in that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with the leadership of a great nation such as Russia. I believe that is my greatest wealth.”

Prominent businesswoman Samantha Mostyn will take over the nation’s highest office, becoming the second woman to be the King’s representative in Australia.

The Prime Minister has been grilled on his salary ahead of his pay rise on Monday.

The final question time for the week focused on the handling of the economy, but the government used it to attack the Greens for blocking a key housing Bill.

$700 Million Super Yacht, 58 Planes: Expensive Things Owned By Vladimir Putin

Vladimir putin is believed to be the world's richest man. the ceo of a wealth management company claimed putins personal wealth is $200 billion..

$700 Million Super Yacht, 58 Planes: Expensive Things Owned By Vladimir Putin

Reports say Russian President Vladimir Putin is the world's richest man.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine shocked the world and led to one of the biggest humanitarian crises since the Second World War. It also brought to the centre one of the most influential figures in international politics: Vladimir Putin .

He has been at the helm of affairs in Russia for decades on whom the West has always kept a watchful eye. But his decision to start a war in Ukraine, especially in 21st century, even surprised some of the seasoned diplomats and policy makers.

Putin has always intrigued the world with his personality, and his past as a KGB officer. Here, we take a look at his lifestyle.

Officially, the Kremlin has mentioned that Putin earns an annual salary of $140,000, according to Fortune . His publicly declared assets include an 800-square foot apartment, a trailer and three cars, the report further said.

But he is often believed to be the world's richest man. Investment and asset management company Hermitage Capital Management claimed in 2017 that Putin's personal wealth is $200 billion. The claim was made by the company's CEO Bill Browder before a Judiciary Committee of the US Senate.

His comments about Putin and Russia are taken seriously as Browder was a major investor in Russia during the 1990s.

The claims about the Russian President's ridiculous amount of money keep doing the rounds due to the lifestyle that he leads. Putin is seen wearing luxury watches, like Patek Philippe's Perpetual Calendar worth $60,000 and a $500,000 A Lange & Sohne Toubograph, according to Fortune .

Ten years ago, ABC News carried a report based on a video released by Russian opposition group Solidarity, in which it said that Putin owns luxury watches worth $700,000 - about six times his official salary.

Putin is also believed to be the owner of a swanky 190,000 square-foot mansion sitting atop a cliff that overlooks the Black Sea. The description of the property, carried by many news publications, say it has frescoed ceilings, a marble swimming pool lined with statues of Greek gods, spas, an amphitheater, a state-of-the-art ice hockey rink, a Vegas-style casino and a nightclub. If that is not enough, the mansion also has a barroom showcasing wine and spirits worth hundreds of dollars.

The pictures of the opulent mansion have been released by Russian opposition leaders in the past, who call it "Putin's Country Cottage". The photos claim to show $500,000 dining room furniture, a $54,000 bar table, decked-out bathrooms with fancy $850 Italian toilet brushes and $1,250 toilet paper holders. But in January this year, Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg said he is the owner of the mansion, not Putin, according to the BBC .

Apart from reports about the Black Sea mansion, the 69-year-old Russian President also rumoured to be the owner of 19 other houses, 700 cars, 58 aircraft and helicopters . One of these planes - "The Flying Kremlin" - is built at a cost of $716 million and has a toilet made of gold.

On Tuesday, The Guardian carried a piece which had a photo of a 140-metre-long, six-floor super yacht in Italy, also believed to be owned by Putin. The Scheherazade, said to be worth $700m, is docked in a shipyard in Marina di Carrara, a town on Italy's Tuscan coast. The Guardian report said that the vessel is equipped with a spa, swimming pools, two helipads, a wood-burning fireplace and a pool table designed to tilt so as to reduce the impact of the waves.

In an address to the Italian Parliament on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Italy to seize the yacht.

Despite enormous wealth, Putin not sanctioned by West

Days after the Ukraine invasion was launched, western countries froze the assets of Russia's elite, including those close to Putin, and imposed travel bans on them. But, the Russian President was spared.

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According to The New York Times , this was done on the insistence of European countries like Germany who wanted communication channels to remain open with Russia's top leadership.

New agency Reuters carried a report in January, which quoted Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying that personal sanctions against Putin would be "politically destructive" and akin to severing diplomatic relations.

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putin's yacht worth


Nautical News

A look at Vladimir Putin’s $ 125 million yacht collection


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $ 125 million yacht collection offers a glimpse into his luxurious life.

Vladimir Putin served as President of Russia for eight years from 1999 to 2008 before being re-elected in 2012 and has been the Commander-in-Chief ever since. He alleges that he alone makes $ 100,000 annually as president. But he is believed to have a net worth of $ 40 billion,…. and it is not surprising that he is one of the richest politicians in the world. Putin owns many properties and castles in Russia and travels in style in his limousines, as well as owning a fleet of impressive superyachts.

This is Vladimir Putin’s $ 125 million yacht collection.


The yacht is owned by an oil tycoon who got it as a gift from Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch & friend of Putin https://t.co/CeNd0NwdQR — Andrea Chalupa 🇺🇲 (@AndreaChalupa) June 16, 2017

The first yacht on the list is The Graceful , which is as elegant as the name implies. Sprayed in the rich hue of white, it has a beam of 72 meters and a volume of 2,685 tons. She was built by Blohm and Voss i n 2014 and designed by H2 Yacht Design . The superyacht has six guest cabins, which can accommodate 12 people and seven crew members.

The largest room is the Master Suite, followed by two VIP cabins and three guest cabins. The yacht has a 50 x 10 foot pool, which can be turned into a dance floor at the touch of a button. The boat’s open view offers a 360-degree view of the blue lagoons. The yacht costs a staggering $ 100 million and, if that’s not enough, it requires $ 5 to $ 10 million in annual maintenance costs.

President Putin hosted his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on his yacht on Saturday, after Belarus forced the landing of a Ryanair jetliner and arrested a journalist last week. Putin is pushing ahead with a $500 million loan to Belarus. More: https://t.co/0QsTF7F3Mg pic.twitter.com/RUBeVuDKGi — Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) May 30, 2021

Putin’s most photographed and loved yacht, the Olympia, which spans 57 meters. Designed and built in 2002 at Feadship . The Olympia’s speed is 16 knots with a range of 4,700 miles, and Putin is seen sailing the yacht with businessmen from around the world.

The Olympia costs $ 50 million and can accommodate up to 10 guests along with 16 crew members. The superyacht has a presidential cabin where Putin lives, which is on a separate level. The size of his suite is one-third the length of the yacht. It also has a Jacuzzi and a bar.


Russia: PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin take ride on a yacht in Sochi pic.twitter.com/eqgAfy7g21 — ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2018

Built in 2009, a Turkish shipyard by Proteksan Turquoise , The Seagull or Chayka i n Russian is a 54 meter long superyacht bought by the Russian government. The yacht is built for long voyages of over 4,000 miles, and can travel at a speed of 14 knots with the 4,000 horsepower of it. The cost of The Seagull exceeds $ 34.85 million.

The luxurious explorer has spacious indoor and outdoor areas to relax 12 guests and 11 crew members at the same time. She has a large dining room, jacuzzi, gym, beach club, barbecue area and pool. Putin’s master suite features a luxurious bed, desk, full bathroom, and walk-in closet. The Seagull is also equipped with a jet ski, diving and fishing gear, and three inflatable boats for a quick sporting activity in between.

It is the least known and smallest yacht on the list. Very little is known about the yacht, as she does not use it as often as The Olympia and The Graceful . The Petrel has a length of 35 meters and gives a maximum speed of 14 knots and 10 of cruising.

Her staterooms with her private balcony can accommodate 16 guests and 12 crew members. A model similar to the Petrel costs $ 16.8 million. She being the least expensive on his list.

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Russian forces attacked the centre of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second- largest city, with a guided bomb, killing one person, injuring eight and setting ablaze buildings and vehicles, officials said.

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Moscow Signals It May Downgrade Relations With the West

Amid recent escalations in the Ukraine proxy war, the Russian Federation is considering downgrading relations with the West, though no decision has been made yet. This comes less than a week after Kiev launched long-range missile strikes on Crimea, leaving four Russians dead and well over 100 wounded. Moscow vowed “retaliatory measures” would follow.

Downgrading ties with the West as a result of NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine would be unprecedented. At the height of the previous Cold War, during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, relations between the two nuclear superpowers were never abandoned. Currently, the US and its allies in Europe maintain embassies in Russia and, likewise, Moscow still operates its diplomatic facilities in Washington and European capitals. However, diplomats report working in the most hostile environment in decades.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow is studying the issue and explained to the Izvestia newspaper that ambassadors have historically played an arduous but critical role, permitting communications channels to function during particularly tense periods.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described “the issue of lowering the level of diplomatic relations” as “standard practice for states” facing “unfriendly or hostile manifestations.” He added: “Due to the growing involvement of the West in the conflict over Ukraine, the Russian Federation cannot but consider various options for responding to such hostile Western intervention in the Ukrainian crisis.”

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said US and Ukrainian involvement in the “terrorist” attack on the Crimean peninsula was beyond doubt. The Foreign Ministry claimed US intelligence was used to coordinate the bombing, which utilized US-supplied ATACMS missiles, noting a US drone was operating nearby. The ministry declared Washington “has effectively become a party” to the war and threatened “retaliatory measures.”

In recent weeks, several NATO member states, including the US, Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Denmark, have given their Ukrainian proxy army the green light to launch Western-provided weapons into the Russian mainland as well as Crimea. Russia has strongly admonished London that if its weapons are used for attacks on Russia, Moscow will respond in kind with strikes against British military sites in Ukraine and “beyond.” Paris is also leading an effort to deploy NATO troops to Ukraine to train Kiev’s forces for its war with Russia.

Additionally, the EU just approved the transfer of more than a billion dollars’ worth of arms, purchased with interest profits gained from stolen Russian sovereign assets, and imposed scores of sanctions against Moscow.

Over the coming months, Copenhagen and Amsterdam have said they will arm Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets and clarified they may be used for strikes against Russian territory. Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hailed the hawkish turn in war policy, insisting, without a hint of irony, that the Kremlin should not interpret this as escalatory . Moscow views the planned F-16 transfer as a strategic threat, as the jets can carry nuclear weapons. Kiev must store the warplanes on NATO territory, which Russia says can be legitimately targeted as well.

The North Atlantic alliance also has its sights set on China , which maintains a “no limits” partnership with Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently inked a defense pact with Pyongyang – which Washington has threatened with obliteration – and warned “NATO is already ‘moving’ there [to Asia] as if to a permanent place of residence. This, of course, creates a threat to all countries in the region, including the Russian Federation. We are obliged to respond to this and will do it.”

Connor Freeman is the assistant editor and a writer at the Libertarian Institute , primarily covering foreign policy. He is a co-host on the Conflicts of Interest podcast. His writing has been featured in media outlets such as Antiwar.com, Counterpunch, and the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He has also appeared on Liberty Weekly, Around the Empire, and Parallax Views. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96 .

Meet Vladimir Potanin, the richest man in Russia. He's worth $25 billion, plays ice hockey with Vladimir Putin, and hasn't been sanctioned by the West.

  • Vladimir Potanin is the richest man in Russia, worth an estimated $25 billion.
  • He's been known to vacation on yachts and play ice hockey with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Potanin has not been named on US or European sanctions lists.

Vladimir Potanin is the richest documented person in Russia. He's worth $24.9 billion, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin was named in the infamous 2018 "Putin list" of prominent Russian political figures and oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Despite those close ties , Potanin is not on the growing list of Russian oligarchs — which includes Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska — who have been sanctioned by the West.

His net worth, however, has taken a massive hit since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine: He had seen a loss of nearly a quarter of his initial wealth, bringing it down to $25 billion per Bloomberg. Potanin's wealth hovered at $30 billion at the beginning of 2022, according to the publication.

Here's a look at how Vladimir Potanin makes and spends his fortune.

Katie Warren contributed to an earlier version of this article.

Potanin, 61, is the majority shareholder and the CEO of Nornickel, the world's largest producer of refined nickel.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin owns 34.6% of Nornickel, according to Reuters.  Nornickel is responsible for almost 22% of the world's high-grade nickel production and about 40% of its palladium. The company pulled in $17.9 billion in revenue in 2021, according to Bloomberg.

In 1990, Potanin founded Interros, a conglomerate with stakes in industries including mining, energy, and real estate. Open Investments was a real estate company under Interros, founded in 2002. Its market cap peaked at $5.1 billion in 2018, the company website shows. Potanin sold his shares in the company in 2010.

Potanin controls Russian pharmaceutical company Petrovax, which developed a drug called Polyoxidonium in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

The billionaire also has a sizable real-estate portfolio. He reportedly owns office spaces , hotel property in Moscow, land in central Russia, and a country club in the Moscow region.

Nornickel did not reply to Insider's request for comment.

Born in Moscow in 1961, Potanin is the son of a diplomat and a doctor. He studied international relations and went on to spend eight years working at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Trade.

putin's yacht worth

When he was 30, Potanin met Mikhail Prokhorov , who would become his future business partner. The pair founded the International Company for Finance & Investments and then Onexim Bank, which became Russia's largest private bank at the time.

Potanin became president of the bank in 1992 , at age 32.

In 1996, not long after Boris Yeltsin was re-elected president of Russia, Potanin was appointed first deputy prime minister in charge of energy and economy.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin was one of the Big Seven oligarchs who helped reelect Boris Yeltsin as president in 1996. Yeltsin appointed Potanin as his first deputy prime minister from August 1996 to March 1997.

While working at the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Potanin masterminded the "loans-for-shares" program that would go on to become the source of many oligarchs' wealth.

putin's yacht worth

Under the "loans-for-shares" programs , wealthy entrepreneurs and banks loaned money to the Russian government in the 1990s in exchange for equity in the country's natural resource companies. The government often could not repay these loans, leaving many of the natural resource companies in the hands of wealthy individuals.

It was through this program that Potanin acquired Nornickel, which would make him the richest man in Russia at the time.

The loans-for-shares program created many of today's wealthiest Russian oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich , who's worth $13.9 billion  and also holds shares in Nornickel.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK. Many of his assets , including Chelsea Football Club, have been frozen.

While Potanin has not been sanctioned by the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, his relationship with Putin stretches back at least two decades.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin has been photographed at various events with Putin  dating back to at least 2000.

While Potanin's wealth is largely documented, Putin's assets are not: The Washington Post previously reported that financier Bill Browder had put Putin's potential net worth as high as $200 billion in 2015.

Potanin also met on several occasions with Dmitry Medvedev, who was the president of Russia from 2008 to 2012 and then supported Putin in his re-election campaign. He served as prime minister in from 2012 to 2020.

Potanin was one of several Russian billionaires who helped fund the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. He invested $2.5 billion in a ski resort and other facilities, per Forbes.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin built a ski resort in Sochi with nearly 50 miles of trails, a freestyle ski center, a snowboard park, one of the two Olympic Villages, and the Russian Olympic University, Forbes reported.

Potanin said he did not get much return from his investment in the ski resort, according to the BBC.

"We were skiing with President Putin in Austria and there was talk that it would be good to have such resorts in Russia," he told the BBC in February 2013. "It's more a question of legacy," he added.

Like a number of Russian oligarchs, Potanin is a collector of luxury yachts.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin bought the 248-foot Anastasia in 2008 and sold it in 2018 at an asking price of €75 million. The yacht was first put on the market six years earlier at an asking price of €125 million.

In 2012, Potanin was delivered another yacht named Nirvana.  

Anastasia and Nirvana were among a series of three yachts that Potanin commissioned from yacht-builder Oceanco in the Netherlands. Barbara, built in 2017, is the third yacht in the collection.

The 290-foot Barbara was at one time listed at an asking price of €165 million.

The 289-foot Nirvana includes a 10-foot-deep plunge pool and a helipad.

putin's yacht worth

The boat has six decks , which are connected by a main stairwell and a glass elevator.

Nirvana, which was in the Maldives in early March , is currently moored in Dubai, according to ship tracker Marine Traffic.

Another of the billionaire's hobbies is ice hockey. In a 2018 Financial Times interview, Potanin said he plays at least twice a week, owns his own private rink, and sometimes plays with Putin.

putin's yacht worth

When asked who was the better player, Potanin simply said, "I am younger."

Potanin was married to Natalia Potanina for 30 years. They divorced in 2014 amid a public dispute over the distribution of the billionaire's wealth.

putin's yacht worth

Potanina told Business Insider in a 2014 interview that she was seeking half of Potanin's $15 billion fortune at the time of their divorce.

The Russian Legal Information Agency later reported that Potanina received $6.8 million for her share of the luxury apartment the couple shared in Moscow (which Potanin kept) and three plots of land in the Moscow region.

He married his second wife, Ekaterina, in 2014. They reportedly have a child together .

Potanin has three children from his first marriage: Anastasia, Ivan, and Vasily.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin reportedly spent $10 million on Anastasia's wedding in 2018, which took place at a luxury hotel on the French Riviera. The billionaire arranged transfers on private jets and paid for guests to stay at the five-star Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes.

Potanin said in 2010 that he would donate most of his fortune to charity instead of giving it to his three children. Part of his motive was to "help my children avoid the pressure of billions," he said.

"There won't be an inheritance of my fortune. My capital should work for the good of society and continue working for these social aims," Potanin told the Financial Times in February 2010.

In 1999, the billionaire created the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. The nonprofit seeks to implement "long-term educational and cultural projects in Russia," according to the billionaire's biography on Nornickel's website.

putin's yacht worth

In 2016, he donated 250 works of Russian and Soviet art to the Pompidou Center in Paris. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor the next year.

Potanin was, until very recently, a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. He resigned from the board on March 2, a statement from the museum said, reported The New York Times.

"The Guggenheim strongly condemns the Russian invasion and unprovoked war against the government and people of Ukraine," the museum said, per The Times.

In 2013, Potanin signed The Giving Pledge, a global charity organization started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

putin's yacht worth

Potanin was the first Russian billionaire who signed the Giving Pledge. Signatories of the pledge vow to donate the majority of their wealth to charity.

"I genuinely believe that wealth should work for public good and, therefore, I am trying to make my own contribution toward a better world, especially toward a better future for my own country, Russia," Potanin wrote on The Giving Pledge's website.

putin's yacht worth

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putin's yacht worth

Russia-Ukraine war live: Zelensky calls for more long-range weapons after seven killed in Zaporizhzhia

LIVE – Updated at 11:51

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has renewed his call for more long-range weapons after seven people were killed in a Russian strike.

The Russian attack on the town of Vilniansk, near the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, also injured 31 others, Ukrainian officials said.

“Our cities and communities suffer daily from such Russian strikes,” Mr Zelensky said after the attack which left two children dead.

But he added that there were “ways to overcome this”, including “destroying Russian missile launchers, striking with real long-range capability and increasing the number of modern air defence systems”.

Western allies have already supplied Ukraine with long-range weapons - including Scalp missiles from France, Storm Shadow from the UK and ATACMS from the US - as well as US-made Patriot air defence systems.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has refused to comment on Donald Trump ’s claim he would “settle the war” in Ukraine if he was re-elected in November.

Trump made the claim during Thursday’s US presidential debate, where he and president Joe Biden competed to appear tougher on foreign policy.

Zelensky calls for more aid after Russian strike kills seven

  • Trump, Biden fight it out on Ukraine war at presidential debate
  • Russia mulling downgrading ties with ‘hostile’ West, Kremlin says
  • Putin’s troops pushed out of part of key eastern town, says Ukraine
  • Ukrainian drone strikes fuel depot in Russia’s Tambov

Ukrainians held prisoner for years in Russia return to Kyiv

Russia says four firefighters injured in Ukraine shelling of Donetsk

Four employees of Russia’s ministry of emergency situations were injured in Ukraine’s shelling of the Donetsk region, the ministry said on Sunday.

“In the Petrovsky district, department firefighters (the employees) were extinguishing a fire that occurred after (Ukrainian) shelling,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app. “There was an alert for a new artillery strike. The shelling hit them as they were evacuating.”

Donetsk is one of four regions in Ukraine’s east and south that Russia claimed to have annexed in late 2022 in a move condemned as illegal by most countries at the UN General Assembly. Russia does not fully control any of the four regions.

Russia plans to send children to North Korea

Russia is planning to send children to a summer camp in North Korea in late July, according to state news agency TASS.

This follows the signing of a strategic deal by Russia and North Korea on 19 June.

Groups of children accompanied by counsellors will attend the camps in North Korea’s Sondovon.

“We are now planning joint camp shifts... We are planning children’s exchanges,” Grigory Gurov, head of the Russian youth group Movement of the First, said, according to The Kyiv Independent.

More Americans are ending up in Russian jails. Prospects for their release are unclear

Russian troops speeding across Ukraine in motorcycles in new tactic – report

Russian soldiers are now reportedly shooting targets in Ukraine while speeding across on motorbikes in a chaotic new tactic.

Such drive-by attacks now account for nearly half of all attacks in some parts of Ukraine, The New York Times reported, citing soldiers on the front line.

This appears to be a new strategy Russia employs for crossing heavily mined fields that could be triggered to explode by armoured tanks. While armoured vehicles are easy targets for drones monitoring from above, fast-moving motorcycles are harder to hit.

Once the Russian soldiers cross minefields on their bikes, they may leave the motorcycles behind and enter trenches to fight Ukrainians on foot, the report said.

Zelensky makes plea for more weapons after Russian attack near Zaporizhzhia

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made a renewed plea to his allies for long-range weapons as a Russian attack near the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia killed seven and injured over 30.

About a dozen people died from Russian strikes in Ukraine on Saturday, according to Reuters .

Mr Zelensky said such deaths could be prevented if Russian missile launchers could be destroyed using real long-range missiles, and by increasing the number of modern air defence systems.

“Our cities and communities suffer daily from such Russian strikes,” the Ukrainian president posted on Telegram.

Ukrainian hackers target Russian companies supporting war

Hackers reportedly destroyed hundreds of terabytes of data of companies supporting Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said hackers destroyed over 100 terabytes of data from OrbitSoft, a software company working with the Russian army.

The data in eight servers of another company providing navigation equipment for Russian drones were also destroyed, the ministry said.

The hackers also targeted over a dozen servers of internet service providers, erasing all data, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Civilians released from captivity in Russia and Belarus, says Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that 10 people, all civilians, were handed back to Ukraine as part of an exchange of detainees after several years of captivity in Russia and its ally Belarus.

“We managed to bring back 10 more of our people from Russian captivity, despite all the difficulties,” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

He thanked a team dedicated to securing the release of the captives, including the Vatican.

Ukrainian officials said the return of the civilians was part of an exchange of prisoners of war conducted earlier this week under which each side handed back 90 detainees.

Russia did not comment and Ukraine made no mention of any release of Russians in captivity.

Among those brought back was Nariman Dzhelyal, deputy head of the assembly of the ethnic Crimean Tatar community, seized by Russian occupation forces in 2021, seven years after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula.

Also freed were two eastern rite Catholic priests captured by Russian forces in the occupied port of Berdiansk on the Sea of Azov.

Five of those liberated had been held in ex-Soviet Belarus, Moscow’s closest ally, which allowed the Kremlin to use its territory to help launch the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Dagestan, in southern Russia, has a history of violence. Why does it keeps happening?

Putin hints at restarting production of intermediate-range missiles

Russian president Vladimir Putin has called for the resumption of production in Russia of intermediate-range missiles that were banned under a now-scrapped treaty with the United States.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which banned ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km (310-3,410 miles), was regarded as an arms -control landmark when then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US president Ronald Reagan signed it in the 1980s.

The United States withdrew from the treaty in 2019, citing Russian violations.

“We need to start production of these strike systems and then, based on the actual situation, make decisions about where - if necessary to ensure our safety - to place them,” Mr Putin said at a meeting of Russia’s national security council.

Russia accused of flashing violent Ukraine war images on children’s TV channels

Russia warns it can take unspecified measures in response to US drone flights over Black Sea

Russia‘s Defense Minister ordered officials to prepare a “response” to U.S. drone flights over the Black Sea, the ministry said Friday, in an apparent warning that Moscow may take forceful action to ward off the American reconnaissance aircraft.

The Russian Defense Ministry noted a recent “increased intensity” of U.S. drones over the Black Sea, saying they “conduct intelligence and targeting for precision weapons supplied to the Ukrainian military by Western countries for strikes on Russian facilities.”

“It shows an increased involvement of the U.S. and other NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the Kyiv regime,” the ministry said in a statement.

A Ukrainian author turned soldier has a stark warning for the West: ‘Be prepared for war with Russia’

Ukrainian author and soldier warns the West: ‘War is coming to you’

Closed-door trial of US journalist Evan Gershkovich begins in Russia as case denounced as sham

Closed-door trial of US journalist begins in Russia as case denounced as sham

Russian glide bombs are obliterating front-line Ukraine towns

Russian glide bombs are obliterating front-line Ukraine towns. There’s more to come

Has Russia just dropped a deadly new 3,000kg glide bomb in Ukraine?

Research expert tells UN it has 'irrefutably' established missile debris in Ukraine is North Korean

Belarus bolsters air defence forces along Ukrainian border

Belarus has deployed additional air defence forces to its border with Ukraine to protect “critical infrastructure facilities” due to increased Ukrainian drone activity in the area, a Belarusian military commander said on Saturday.

Belarus, an ally of Russia in the war with Ukraine, said earlier this week it had shot down a quadcopter that had illegally crossed the border from Ukraine “to collect information about the Belarusian border infrastructure”.

The situation in the airspace over the border remains tense, Andrei Severinchik, commander of the Belarusian Air Defence Forces, said on Saturday.

“We are ready to decisively use all available forces and means to protect our territory and the population of the Republic of Belarus from possible provocations in the airspace,” he said in a statement published on the Defence Ministry’s Telegram channel.

Ukraine strikes inside Russia disrupting the ability of Putin’s forces to use drones, MoD says

Ukraine strikes inside Russia disrupting the Kremlin’s drone capabilities, MoD says

Ukrainian drone ‘kills five in Russia’s Kursk region'

A Ukrainian drone has killed five people, including two children, in Russia’s borderline Kursk Region, the TASS news agency reported on Saturday citing Kursk governor Alexey Smirnov.

Russia takes control of settlement of Shumy in Ukraine

The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday that Russian forces had taken control of the settlement of Shumy in eastern Ukraine, state news agency RIA reported.

Kremlin refuses to comment on Trump’s claim he would ‘settle war’ in Ukraine

The Kremlin has refused to comment on Donald Trump’s claim he would “settle the war” in Ukraine if he was re-elected in November.

“As far as Russia and Ukraine, if we had a real president, a president that knew – that was respected by Putin, he would have never – he would have never invaded Ukraine,” he said.

Ukraine strikes hamper Russian drones, MoD says

Ukrainian strikes against a Russian airbase outside of the occupied territories have likely “disrupted” the Kremlin ’s ability to launch its own drone attacks , the UK’s Ministry of Defence has said:

One was a journalist on a reporting trip. Another was attending a wedding. Yet another was a dual national returning to visit family.

All are U.S. citizens now behind bars in Russia on various charges.

Arrests of Americans in Russia are increasingly common with relations sinking to Cold War lows. Washington accuses Moscow of using U.S. citizens as bargaining chips, but Russia insists they all broke the law.

Zelensky hopes for second peace summit

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and Slovenian president Natasa Pirc Musar visited a memorial in Kyiv to Ukrainian soldiers killed in the war.

The pair discussed plans for a second peace summit, similar to the one held earlier this month in Switzerland, and a bilateral security agreement.

Top international court issues arrest warrants for senior Russian officials over alleged war crimes

In case you missed it...

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for two senior Russian officials , accusing them of overseeing war crimes against civilians during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .

Former Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu , a close ally of Vladimir Putin , and military chief General Valery Gerasimov have been accused of “directing attacks at civilian objects”, “causing excessive incidental harm to civilians or damage to civilian objects”, and perpetrating the crime against humanity of “inhumane acts”.

Top international court issues arrest warrants for senior Russian officials

A UN agency is investigating accusations that Russia hacked into Ukrainian television and flashed violent imagery from its invasion of the country on children’s channels, according to a report.

Ukraine and other European nations have complained to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) about the alleged satellite interference impacting navigation services and television shows, The Telegraph reported.

Ukraine, in its complaint to the ITU on 3 June, recorded at least 11 cases of interference in the last three months affecting dozens of Ukrainian television programmes, the report added. ITU is a specialized agency of the UN responsible for matters related to information and communication technologies.

Bulgarian president declines government proposal to lead delegation to NATO summit

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has turned down a government proposal to lead the country’s delegation to NATO’s July summit in Washington, D.C., saying he was not consulted while it worked out the official position of the country and its commitments regarding the war in Ukraine , his press office said Thursday.

The decision comes on the heels of heated debates between pro-Russian and pro-Western parties in Bulgaria about whether Radev, as the commander-in-chief of the military, should represent the country at the NATO summit.

Over the years, Russia ‘s southern republic of Dagestan , located in the North Caucasus region, has been beset by extremist violence. This weekend, there was more bloodshed.

Officials say five gunmen in the regional capital of Makhachkala and the city of Derbent opened fire at Orthodox churches and two synagogues, as well as a police post, killing at least 20 people before being slain by authorities.

The large-scale and coordinated assault raises difficult questions for the Russian authorities about continued security lapses, especially after an attack claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group at a Moscow-area concert hall in March killed 145 people.

Russian missile in Dnipro injures three people

A Russian missile strike hit a nine-storey residential building in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday, injuring at least three people and destroying four storeys, officials said.

A photograph published by Governor Serhiy Lysak and other images circulated on social media showed a badly damaged building that had smoke rising from a gaping hole in its upper storeys.

President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Ukraine’s allies to step up supplies of air defences to help the military intercept Russia’s regular aerial attacks.

Dnipro, which had a pre-war population of almost one million people, is a major Ukrainian city that lies on the road to the east of the country where the most intense fighting with Russian forces is raging.

A look at Yekaterinburg, the Russian city where US reporter has gone on trial

Russia ‘s Defense Minister ordered officials to prepare a “response” to U.S. drone flights over the Black Sea , the ministry said Friday, in an apparent warning that Moscow may take forceful action to ward off the American reconnaissance aircraft.

EU imposes measures against two businessmen over Russia's war in Ukraine

The European Union has imposed restrictive measures against the businessmen Dmitry Beloglazov and Mikhail Kontserev for trying to circumvent EU sanctions and for their roles in aiding Russia‘s war in Ukraine, said the EU Council on Friday.

The EU said the two businessmen were now subject to an asset freeze and would be banned from entering or transiting through EU territories.

Ukraine says it destroyed Russian space communication centre in Crimea

The Ukrainian defence ministry said on Friday the Ukrainian military destroyed the Russian space communication centre in Moscow-occupied Crimea in an attack this week.

In a statement on Telegram, the ministry described the target as a valuable military component in satellite communication and navigation system for Russian troops.

Reuters could not independently verify the statement. On Monday, local social media chats reported explosions near the village of Vitino on the Crimean Peninsula where the centre is located.

What to know from the first day of US journalist Evan Gershkovich's trial in Russia

Here’s a look at what we know about the first day of the trial for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich , who has been charged in Russia with espionage — charges that he, his employer and the U.S. government deny.

Annual allied military aid $60 billion for next four years, says Ukraine PM

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Friday that military pledges outlined in 20 security agreements Kyiv has signed with its partners total $60 billion annually for the next four years.

Kyiv relies heavily on military support from partners while it repels a 28-month-old Russian full-scale invasion.

The 10-year agreements, including with the EU and the U.S., set out commitments on long-term military and other assistance and pledge to hold immediate consultations to decide on the next steps in the event of a future Russian attack after the current conflict has ended.

“According to these agreements, in the next four years, our partners plan to provide Ukraine with total military support worth $60 billion annually,” Shmyhal said during a governmental meeting. He did not provide breakdown of funding sources.

The agreements are struck bilaterally and are all different.

For instance, the text of the first deal signed with Britain says the country will provide Ukraine with a further 2.5 billion pounds ($3.16 billion) of support.

Estonia, according to its agreement, “has set the target” to allocate at least 0.25% of GDP annually for military support in 2024-27.

Ukraine's president urges EU leaders to make good on their arms promises

Ukraine’s president called on European Union leaders on Thursday to make good on their pledges to provide military equipment to his war-ravaged country, just days after the bloc launched membership talks with his government.

“We have to work on next steps,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told reporters in Brussels as he arrived to attend a summit of EU leaders. He said he and the leaders would discuss “the urgent things -– air defense, that is one.”

Zelenskyy thanked countries that have promised equipment, weapons and ammunition, but underlined that “we need them urgently on the battlefield.”

Radev has often been criticized by political opponents for his Kremlin-friendly position in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and for his public remarks that sending military aid to Kyiv would extend the conflict. He has referred to those favoring military aid to Ukraine as “warmongers.”

Russian military says it took control of settlement of Rozdolivka in eastern Ukraine

Russian forces have taken control of the settlement of Rozdolivka in eastern Ukraine, Russia‘s Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

The ministry said in a statement that Russia‘s “Southern” military grouping had taken up what it called more favourable positions after pushing Ukrainian forces out of the settlement, which is located in the Donetsk region.

Reuters could not verify the battlefield report and there was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

Rescuers pull injured passengers from train after derailment in northern Russia

In pictures: Zelensky visits memorial wall in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Slovenian President Natasa Pirc Musar visit the Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders of Ukraine today.

Ukrainian PM: Allies pledge $60 bln of annual military support for next four years

Ukrainian Prime Minister said on Friday that military pledges outlined in 20 security agreements Kyiv has signed with its partners total $60 billion annually for the next four years.

“According to these agreements, in the next four years, our partners plan to provide Ukraine with total military support worth $60 billion annually,” Denys Shmyhal said during a governmental meeting.

-Kremlin says outlook for EU-Russia ties is bad after von der Leyen and Kallas nominations

The Kremlin said on Friday that the outlook for EU-Russia ties was bad after EU leaders nominated Ursula von der Leyen for another term as European Commission president and picked Estonia’s Kaja Kallas as the next EU foreign policy chief.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the bloc’s decision to nominate Germany’s von der Leyen for a second five-year term would not change anything.

“Mrs von der Leyen is not in favour of normalising relations between the EU and Russia. That’s how we know her, that’s how we remember her. Nothing changes in this respect,” said Peskov.

Commenting on the choice of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas for EU foreign policy chief, Peskov said she was known for her anti-Russian rhetoric.

“Mrs Kallas has not demonstrated any diplomatic inclinations so far either, and is well known in our country for her absolutely intransigent and sometimes even openly anti-Russian statements,” he said.

“Therefore, we do not think that European diplomacy will contribute in any way to the normalisation of relations. The prospects, in terms of relations between Moscow and Brussels, are bad.”

Kremlin declines to comment on Biden-Trump debate

Russia has no comment on the U.S. presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump as it is an internal U.S. matter, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Biden stumbled frequently in the encounter with Trump, which revived discussion about his age. Russia loomed large in the debate as both men tried to show who was tougher on foreign policy.

Trump said if the U.S. had a “real president” who was respected by Putin, he would never have invaded Ukraine on Biden’s watch.

Biden responded: “Go ahead, let Putin go in and control Ukraine, and then move on to Poland and other places. See what happens then. He has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”

Putin said earlier this month he did not believe the outcome of the election would make much difference for Russia.

Belarus to reinforce its border with Ukraine after security incident

The border service of Belarus and the country’s Ministry of Defence are taking measures to further reinforce the Belarusian border with Ukraine after a security incident, the Belarusian border service said in a statement.

The border service said its staff had brought down a quadrocopter on Wednesday after it had illegally crossed the border from Ukraine to collect information about Belarusian border infrastructure.

Earlier in the week, it said materials for a homemade bomb had been found concealed in the same area and that it was aware that a unit of pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters was present in a Ukrainian region bordering Belarus.

Ukraine's Zelensky scolds officials who shirk their duties in the country's war effort

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signaled Wednesday that he is getting tough on officials he suspects are shirking their duties in the war with Russia that is now in its third year.

Zelensky and Commander in Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi visited troops in the eastern Donetsk region who have weathered fierce Russian ground and air assaults in recent months. They also discussed with local officials the drinking water supply, social issues, evacuation plans and the rebuilding of local homes, Zelenskyy said.

He added that back in Kyiv he would speak to “officials who must be here and in other areas near the front line — in difficult communities where people need immediate solutions.”

Ukraine's Zelenskyy scolds officials who shirk their duties in the country's war effort

US to confront Russia at UN over North Korean weapons

The United States will confront Russia at the United Nations Security Council on Friday over violating a North Korea arms embargo, and will push for China’s view on growing ties between Moscow and Pyongyang, said deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood.

The meeting of the 15-member council comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Pyongyang last week to sign a pact with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in which they agreed to provide military assistance if either faces armed aggression.

“This should be of great concern to the entire global community,” Mr Wood told Reuters ahead of the meeting, accusing Russia of “in essence siding with a rogue state to violate countless U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

“This is unprecedented, and we need to call it out for what it is,” he said. “We also want to see what China has to say about this growing military cooperation between DPRK and Russia. They cannot view this as a positive development.”

Here’s a look at what we know about the first day of the trial for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich , who has been charged in Russia with espionage — charges that he, his employer and the US government deny.

Where was the trial held?

It was held on Wednesday in the Sverdlovsky Regional Court in the city of Yekaterinburg , about 880 miles (1,416km) east of Moscow . Gershkovich was arrested in the city in March 2023 while on a reporting trip.

Russian defence minister wants action to counter ‘provocations’ from US drones in Black Sea

Russian Defence Minister Andrei Belousov has ordered the army’s General Staff to come up with proposals on how to promptly deal with “provocations” by U.S. strategic drones operating over the Black Sea, the defence ministry said on Friday.

The ministry said in a statement that it had noted increased activity in the area from U.S. drones which it said were carrying out reconaissance and gathering targeting information for high-precision Western weapons used by Ukraine to strike Russian facilities.

“This demonstrates the increasing involvement of the United States and NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the Kyiv regime,” the defence ministry said.

“Such flights multiply the likelihood of airspace incidents with Russian aircraft, which increases the risk of a direct confrontation between the (NATO) alliance and the Russian Federation.”

It said that NATO countries would be responsible for any such incidents.

The statement did not mention Crimea, the Black Sea region which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. But Russian military facilities in Crimea have been repeatedly targeted by Ukrainian forces, including with Western missiles.

Ukraine is battling to preserve democratic progress during wartime. It's not easy

As an investigative journalist, then an activist, and later a lawmaker, Yehor Soboliev sought to expose corruption in business and government as a way to defend Ukraine’s budding democracy.

Now, as a soldier battling Russia, he’s had to put those aims on hold as he fights alongside some of the people he once tried to bring down.“Till the victory, we are on the same side,” said Soboliev, a lieutenant in a front-line drone unit.

“But maybe — definitely — after the victory, we should separate ourselves from each other. And we should continue that fight in making our country more honest, more responsible, more serving to its citizens.”

Ukraine has spent years trying to build a Western-style democracy, although not without some bumps along the way as it shed habits from its Soviet past.

To beat back Russia and remain a democracy it has felt compelled to temporarily suspend or restrict some democratic ideals.

Elections have been postponed, a once-robust media has been restrained, corruption-fighting has slipped down the agenda, and freedom of movement and assembly have been curbed by martial law.

And as Russia pounds Ukraine’s cities and makes battlefield gains, the unity sparked by the invasion — and the sense of common purpose crucial to defending democracy — have come under growing strain.

Russia lost 1,170 soldiers in the past 24 hours, says Ukraine

At least 1,170 Russian forces have been killed and wounded in invasion in Ukraine in the past day, officials of the Ukrainian military said this morning. This comes as the battlefield clashes in the war-hit nation surged.

In the past 24 hours, the frontline saw 119 combat clashes, the General Staff of the Ukraine Armed Forces said, naming Toretsk, Pokrovsk and Kurakhove as the hottest sections of the front throughout the day.

“During the day, the enemy launched six missile strikes on Ukrainian territory (a total of eight missiles), 43 airstrikes (56 guided aerial bombs dropped), and 458 kamikaze drones. They also fired 2,863 times on our troops’ positions and settlements using a variety of weapons,” the statement update this morning read.

Russian navy missile cruiser carries out drills in the Mediterranean Sea

The Russian navy missile cruiser Varyag has carried out drills in the Mediterranean Sea, the state-owned TASS news agency reported on Thursday, citing the navy command.

The drills focused on repelling a mass sea drone attack, the navy command said.

It also involved simulated engagements with an enemy vessel and a submarine.

Earlier this month a Russian naval frigate conducted drills in the Atlantic Ocean searching for submarines while on its way to Cuba.

Russia orders measures taken over US drones in Black Sea

Russian defence minister Andrei Belousov has ordered the general staff to take measures to address increased activity of United States drones over the Black Sea, the RIA news agency cited the ministry as saying today.

The ministry said such activity increased the risk of incidents involving Russian aircraft and could cause direct confrontation between Russia and Nato.

Ukrainian soldiers, of 43rd artillery brigade, fire by 2s7 self-propelled howitzer towards Russian positions at the frontline in Donetsk region

Ukraine war latest: Belarus deploys extra air defence forces to border; 10 Ukrainian prisoners freed with Vatican's help

Ten Ukrainian civilians who had been imprisoned in Russia for years have been released after mediation from the Vatican. Overnight, five people were killed in a Ukrainian drone strike on a Russian village. Listen to a Sky News podcast on Putin and North Korea while you scroll.

Sunday 30 June 2024 08:23, UK

  • Five killed, including two children, in Ukrainian strike on Russian village
  • Ten Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia freed after Vatican mediation
  • Belarus deploys additional air defence forces to Ukraine border
  • Your questions answered : Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?
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We're pausing our live coverage for now. 

You can scroll below to catch up on the latest developments, and we'll be back with our regular coverage tomorrow. 

Six people have been killed in a Russian attack on a small town in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, a Ukrainian official has said. 

A further eight people have been injured, regional governor Ivan Fedorov said. 

Infrastructure, a shop and residential buildings in Vilniansk have also been damaged, he added. 

The strike comes after five people were killed in the Kursk region of Russian due to a Ukrainian drone attack. 

Two young children were also injured in the strike on the village of Gorodishche, around 73 miles (118km) from the Ukrainian border, Kursk governor Alexey Smirnov said. 

Two other people were injured and were in a "serious condition" in hospital, he added. 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met one of the men released from Russian captivity earlier today. 

The Ukrainian president met Nariman Dzhelyal who was successfully returned home after three years in captivity. 

"We will bring security to all our people and peace to Ukraine. I thank everyone who is helping. I thank Nariman for this meeting and for his strength," Mr Zelenskyy said. 

Mr Dzhelyal was detained in Crimea in 2021 while serving as the first deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. 

During his imprisonment, he sent several letters, Mr Zelenskyy said. 

He added that in one of them he wrote: "We are fighting not only for the integrity of our territories but also for the unity of our society, our beautiful, strong nation." 

US officials told Reuters news agency late last night that the Biden administration would provide Ukraine with $150m (£118.6m) worth of weapons and ammunition, including HAWK air defence interceptors and 155 millimetre artillery munitions.

The weapons aid package is expected be unveiled on Monday, the officials said.

Ukraine has urgently requested air defence support as Russia has pounded its energy facilities in recent weeks via aerial attacks. 

The US began shipping HAWK interceptor missiles to Ukraine in 2022 as an upgrade to the shoulder-launched Stinger air defence missile systems - a smaller, shorter-range system. 

The support package will include other munitions and equipment to support Ukraine's defence needs, the officials added. 

The US has provided Ukraine with more than $50bn (£39.5bn) in military aid since 2022. 

We reported earlier on the 10 Ukrainian civilians who were released from Russian captivity earlier today after years of imprisonment (see 8.49am post). 

Watch them reunite with their loved ones in Kyiv's international airport in newly released footage.

A report by the Ukrainian military's centre for strategic communications has found that the country's forces have damaged or destroyed more than 30 Russian military aircraft in the first six months of 2024. 

Most of the strikes against the aircraft have taken place in occupied Ukraine except for a handful of strikes over the Sea of Azov and within Russia, the centre said, as reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). 

The centre did not specify what portion of these Ukrainian strikes were air defence interceptions of Russian aircraft in flight and what percentage were strikes against Russian aircraft at airfields. 

The ISW said they were unable to verify the report.

But it said the downing of Russian aircraft, especially critical aircraft like the A-50 and Il-22, has temporarily constrained Russian aviation activities over occupied Ukraine, but added Ukrainian forces "have yet to be able to significantly attempt to contest the air domain".

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has revealed that Russian strikes have resulted in Ukraine losing around 80% of its thermal power and one third of its hydroelectric power.

Discussing the attack in Dnipro, Mr Zelenskyy said it was a reminder to Ukraine's allies that the country needed more air defence systems. 

He said: "This is why we constantly remind all of our partners: only a sufficient amount of high quality of air defence systems, only a sufficient amount of determination from the world at large can stop Russian terror."

Kyiv has also struck back at Russia with its own attacks, which also often target energy infrastructure.

Belarus has deployed additional air defence forces to its border with Ukraine to protect "critical infrastructure facilities" due to increased Ukrainian drone activity, a Belarusian military commander has said.

Belarus, an ally of Russia, said earlier this week it had shot down a quadcopter that had illegally crossed the border from Ukraine "to collect information about the Belarusian border infrastructure". 

The situation in the airspace over the border remains tense, Andrei Severinchik, commander of the Belarusian Air Defence Forces, said. 

"We are ready to decisively use all available forces and means to protect our territory and the population of the Republic of Belarus from possible provocations in the airspace," he said. 

Belarus' defence ministry said earlier today it had information showing Ukraine had been moving more troops, weapons and military equipment to the northern Zhytomyr region, which borders Belarus. 

There was no immediate response from Ukraine. 

Russian elites and oligarchs have reportedly moved from criticising the country's war effort in Ukraine to supporting it, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has reported.

Mikhail Zygar, the founder of the Russian opposition television channel TV Rain, reported that many elites who were opposed to the war in 2022 started to support the war in 2023 because they "believe Russia is prevailing".

Mr Zygar said these people made this assessment due to Russia's slow but steady battlefield gains, a persisting Ukrainian munitions disadvantage, and perceived "waning" Western security assistance to Ukraine.

One anonymous Russian oligarch who previously criticised the war reportedly told Mr Zygar that Russia must win the war otherwise "they won't allow us to live... and Russia would collapse".

The ISW said it cannot independently verify Mr Zygar's reporting but it is consistent with the institute's assessment that this section of Russian society came to heel behind Vladimir Putin in support of the war after his government intensified crackdowns against elites in the wake of the 2022 invasion. 

As Russia announces it has captured a second village in 24 hours (see 12.26pm post), let's take a look at where Russia has advanced along the frontline with Ukraine. 

As well as pockets of advances on the border north of Kharkiv, Russia appears to have captured areas along the length of the front, from the Donetsk region right up to the western edge of Luhansk.

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The EU targets Russia’s LNG ghost fleet with sanctions as concern mounts about hybrid attacks


FILE - An oil tanker is moored at the Sheskharis complex, part of Chernomortransneft JSC, a subsidiary of Transneft PJSC, in Novorossiysk, Russia, on Oct. 11, 2022, one of the largest facilities for oil and petroleum products in southern Russia. The European Union on Monday slapped new sanctions on Russia over its war on Ukraine, targeting Moscow’s shadow fleet of tankers moving liquefied natural gas through Europe as well as several companies. (AP Photo, File)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday slapped new sanctions on Russia over its war on Ukraine, targeting Moscow’s shadow fleet of tankers moving liquefied natural gas through Europe as well as several companies.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, where the sanctions were endorsed, EU foreign ministers also agreed on new financial support to help Ukraine defend itself. Some expressed concern about a rise in hybrid attacks by Russia – including allegations of election interference, cyber-attacks and sabotage.

In an effort to push Russia into using more costly routes for energy purposes, the ministers said in a statement, the EU will “forbid reloading services of Russian LNG in EU territory for the purpose of transshipment operations to third countries.”

The EU estimates that about 4-to-6 billion cubic meters (141 billion-212 billion cubic feet) of Russian LNG was shipped to third countries via EU ports last year. Russia is suspected of running a “ghost fleet” of up to 400 ships to evade sanctions and keep up the flow of energy earnings so that it can finance the war.

The measures will target ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore transfers as well as reloading operations. It also involves a crackdown on the re-export of LNG to third countries via the EU, plus a ban on new investments to help Russia complete LNG projects it is working on.


Scores of new “entities” – often companies, banks, agencies and other organizations – were added to the EU’s list, including some in China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Many are accused of circumventing the bloc’s sanctions or providing sensitive equipment to Russia.

More than 50 officials are also being targeted with asset freezes, as well as travel bans. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and scores of lawmakers and several oligarchs are among more than 1,700 people already listed by the EU .

Over 400 entities previously hit include companies working in the military, aviation, shipbuilding and machinery sectors, the Wagner mercenary group, political parties and banks. Around 210 billion euros ($225 billion) worth of Russian Central Bank assets are blocked in the EU.

After chairing the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that “Putin wants to prove that Ukraine is vulnerable, and we have to prove that we will support Ukraine.”

Borrell said that an agreement was reached to provide Ukraine with 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in July, and a further 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) by the end of the year, to boost its stocks of air defense equipment and ammunition, and to help bolster the country’s defense industry.

The money would be drawn from profits made from frozen Russian assets held in Europe, he said.

Earlier, some ministers had insisted that action must be taken to end hybrid attacks in Europe by Russia that take place in a “grey zone” just below the threshold of military action which are aimed at destabilizing Ukraine’s backers.

Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen said that “there’s a plethora of actions they have been undertaking against European countries.” Finland has closed border crossings with Russia, blaming the Kremlin for an orchestrated campaign exploiting migrants.

“There is no observer status in Europe anymore to Russia’s aggression. We are all victims of Russia’s aggression,” she said. “It is crucial that we keep on aiding Ukraine because Russia only understands power.”

Her Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said there is “ample evidence” of malign activity by Russia.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think that we are yet sending the right message,” he said. “Moscow has to get a very clear message that whenever they escalate, they will receive an answer from our side.”

NATO warned in May of Russian “hostile state activity” toward both their countries, as well as against the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Poland and the U.K., and said that the Kremlin’s actions “constitute a threat to allied security.”

In a separate move, the EU imposed sanctions on two people accused of online espionage with the “Callisto group,” Ruslan Peretyatko and Andrey Korinets. It said the group has waged cyber operations against EU member countries to try to steal sensitive defense and diplomatic data.

Also targeted for hacking activities and spreading malicious software were members of the “Armageddon hacker” and “Wizard Spider” groups.

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