The newly exposed yachts are the 71-meter Victoria, valued at over $50 million, and its “escort” the 38-meter Orion, itself worth about $15 million.
This brings the number of such vessels belonging to his “fleet” so far discovered to ten.
According to the Dossier Center, Victoria was built at Russia’s Sevmash naval dockyard along with another of Putin’s yachts, the Graceful which was urgently moved from Germany back to Russia before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Construction of the Victoria began in 2005, the hull was completed in 2013 before being moved to the Turkish shipyard AES Yachts for completing its internal fittings which were completed in July 2019. The vessel is officially registered to companies associated with the oligarch Gennady Timchenko, a close personal friend of Vladimir Putin.
Delays in Victoria’s construction led Timchenko to commission the construction of an even larger yacht for Putin, the 140-meter-long Scheherazade, which was seized by Italian authorities in the port of Marina di Carrara in May 2022.
Putin’s name may not be on the registration documents as he, like others among Russia’s elite, disguises his ownership of yachts, houses, or other luxury items. The report says that, while there is no direct proof of his ownership of the yachts the “circumstantial” evidence linking him to them is overwhelming. In addition to his connections to the builder, the fact that they were constructed at a military facility in which civilian vessels are not built is, perhaps, the most obvious.
The Dossier investigation also showed links between the crew of the Victoria and other vessels known to be used by Putin, including the Scheherazade and Graceful. Other crew members were known to be graduates of the government’s Federal Protective Service (FSO) Academy.
The term “luxury” probably doesn’t do justice to the Victoria’s furniture, fittings and baubles – towels costing over $2,000, chess and backgammon sets valued at over $5,000, 60-inch TV sets housed in mahogany cases, and so on.
The inside of the Victoria. Photos: Dossier Center
The Victoria left Russia’s Sochi port on Oct. 21 and docked at the Turkish shipyard near Istanbul, which is normally responsible for servicing Turkey’s NATO- assigned fleet, where it is currently undergoing repairs.
The Dossier team used a drone to overfly the dockyard and to confirm the presence of the two yachts.
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