“Rusmonitor published documents on the yacht Graceful, owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The publication claims that the images were courtesy of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR). The photos show that the ship is at the Yantar plant in Kaliningrad, which is confirmed not only by intelligence data but also by satellite images.
Among other documents that came to the disposal of journalists is a document titled Annex No. 5 to the Agreement for the Supply and Production of Wooden Products No. 2698 of 12.04.2022 for 1964000 euros. This amount in terms of rubles is about 202 million rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. It is noteworthy that the work was carried out after the outbreak of a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine, when hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine were suffering from Russian bombing and occupation. The customer for the work is Seftra LLC, and the contractor is Sofia Decor Exclusive LLC, CEO I.V. Chervanenko. The journalists were unable to find information about the presence of these companies and their management on international sanctions lists.
The yacht Graceful (renamed Kosatka after the outbreak of war in Ukraine) is one of the most expensive and luxurious yachts in the world. It is 74 meters long and has a capacity of 18 people. The ship has a swimming pool, sauna, cinema, helipad and much more. The yacht is estimated to cost 150 million euros, which is almost 15.5 billion rubles.
Earlier, Mediaphone and FBC wrote about the expensive repairs to Putin’s yacht, which were carried out by Estonian firms to circumvent sanctions. However, the documents and photos that Rusmonitor ‘s journalists obtained had never been published before.
This is not Putin’s first luxury yacht to cause scandals and public outrage. He previously owned the yacht Olympus, which was a gift from businessman Roman Abramovich. However, after his divorce from his wife, Lyudmila Putin, he began to use a new yacht, Grace, which was specially ordered for him.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, owns (through proxies) three luxury yachts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, which he uses for vacations and meetings with foreign leaders.
What is known about the yacht
“Putin’s yacht is commonly referred to as an 82-meter ocean-going, comfortable pleasure craft that began construction at Sevmash in Severodvinsk and was finished in Germany. The yacht was launched in 2014 and was named Graceful, which means “Graceful” in English. It has a swimming pool, a helipad, two floors of apartments, guest cabins and living rooms. The possible cost was estimated at $100 million.
The construction was commissioned by a company from the Bahamas, and the operator after the launch was a Cypriot subsidiary of the state-owned Sovcomflot. “Western media and specialized portals called the vessel Putin’s yacht based on several indirect facts: for example, they pointed out that it was built at the defense company Sevmash, which actually specializes in submarines.
And then the yacht was often spotted in Sochi, where the Russian president and his entourage like to vacation: it is even on the list of vessels to which the local port provides agency services. In 2018, the Russian newspaper Sobesednik analyzed the data on the yacht’s movements and found coincidences: On September 15, 2016, Vladimir Putin traveled to Kerch for a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council, and the yacht also went there from Sochi.
However, the story of the ship’s departure, amidst the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, brought the media’s attention back to it, and it revealed the ship’s owner.
What company is the yacht registered to
In the fall of 2021, Graceful arrived in Hamburg at the Blohm and Voss shipyard for modernization, including work on the bow and above deck.
However, in early February, the yacht left Hamburg without waiting for all the work to be completed. “According to the plan, they were to be finished no earlier than April,” a source involved in the repairs told the BBC.
“It is clear that the order to leave the shipyard immediately came from the owner,” says a witness to the yacht’s departure. According to him, the repairs were supposed to be completed by the end of May.
A few days later, it was filmed at the entrance to the Gulf of Kaliningrad, where it is now, according to the Marinetraffic website, which tracks ship traffic.
Thanks to this, it is now possible to find out who exactly owns the yacht, which was registered offshore from the Bahamas during the construction phase. According to the website of the Baltic Sea Ports Authority, its owner is a certain JSC Argument.
The Telegram channel “We Can Explain” found the same information about the yacht’s owner in the database of ship stations of the UN International Telecommunication Union: all ships with a global maritime communication system in case of disaster submit data there.
There are three companies in Russia with this name and this form of ownership. Two of them are Moscow-based, with no traces of active activity. The third, from Gelendzhik, is directly related to the project of the so-called Putin’s Palace: a luxury complex near the village of Paraskovievka near Gelendzhik, which was built secretly, allegedly for the Russian president.