An Inside Look at Vladimir Putin’s $700M Luxury Yacht, Moored Off the Italian Coast - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, November 28, 2022

An Inside Look at Vladimir Putin’s $700M Luxury Yacht, Moored Off the Italian Coast

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As Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army continues to attack civilians in Ukraine and as he deals with an increasing number of serious economic sanctions imposed on him by countries throughout the world, the one-time KGB agent can take refuge in the fact that a $700 million superyacht is awaiting him in the event he needs to flee.

According to a recent report in the New York Post, an anti- corruption unit of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has claimed that a $700 million yacht that is moored off the western coast of Italy is indeed owned by Putin.

The report indicated that Putin furnished the yacht in grand style as it comes complete with its own dance floor that opens up into a swimming pool and even is replete with solid gold toilet paper holders.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper of the UK, a worker who reportedly participated in the construction of the superyacht told them that the 495-foot technologically advanced mega-vessel is “like a mini city.” The unnamed worker also said that the yacht has    “countless swimming pools, a spa, a sauna, a theatre, ballrooms, a gym, two helipads.”

Putin has kept the tradition of naming boats after women and this case is no different. The Post reported that the yacht is known as “Scheherazade”- named after the iconic Persian queen from literature. The super luxurious yacht was reportedly estimated at £500 million ($6.6 million), although insider sources price it closer to £750 million ($990 million), according to the report.

Putin spared no expense with this watercraft in terms of loading it up with a panoply of posh amenities. Its six floors include a 16-foot aquarium, a number of televisions, a self-leveling pool table and bathrooms with gold taps and toilet paper holders.

As far as the dance floor that converts into a swimming pool, the Sun of the UK reported that this craft is thought to be one of only two ships in the world with that feature. The other interesting piece of news is that the other yacht that has this feature also belongs to the Russian president and its name is “Graceful.”

Putin also added his own personal touches to his grand yacht, according to the Post report. It also includes “a judo room with framed pictures of black belts, plus various books showcasing the autocrat’s worship of wealth.”

The Sun reported that the unnamed builder of the boat told them that in Putin’s yacht, “every surface is either marble or gold.” He added that he finds this quite distasteful 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,” he told the Sun.

Because the placement of top-level security systems is important to Putin, the yacht has the ability to “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,“ according to the Post report.

Not to be outdone (if that is at all possible) Putin’s yacht also “contains two helipads and a hangar than can house a helicopter, six Jet Skis, five dinghies and eight Seabob underwater scooters, “ as was reported by the Post.

The “Scheherazade” is a fairly new boat as it was built over two years ago, the report indicated. Until fairly recently, Putin’s connection to the yacht had been unknown. The Post reported that those 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.”

On Monday, Maria Pevchikh, an ally of Navalny and an investigative journalist posted on Twitter: “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,” as was reported by the Post.

The Guardian of the UK reported that while delivering an address to the Italian parliament on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “implored Italy to confiscate the assets of Putin and his supporters, who he claimed frequently traveled to Italy.”

He exhorted the Italian government to seize every yacht “from the Scheherazade to the smallest ones.” He also warned: “Don’t be a resort for murderers,” as was reported by the Post.

An investigation is underway to determine whether the yacht has connections to those Russian oligarchs who have been sanctioned, the Post reported.

On the other side of matters, the captain of the Scheherazade is a citizen of Britain, named Guy Bennett-Pearce. The Post has reported that he has denied that Putin has ever owned or even set foot on the vessel.

Speaking to the New York Times, Bennett-Pearce said of Putin, “I have never seen him. I have never met him.”  He added that hat the owner of the boat was not named on any sanctions list.

The Post reported that 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.

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