All the Superyachts Seized from Russian Oligarchs

As a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, institutions from all over the world have begun to seize superyachts belonging to Russian oligarchs – billionaire cultural and political influences closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But why is this the case? And what are some of the biggest superyachts seized during this ordeal?

Why Are Superyachts Being Seized from Russian Oligarchs?

Governments all over the world are taking superyachts away from Russian oligarchs. But why?

The simplest answer is that this is part of ongoing sanctions against the Russian government as a punishment and disincentive for their actions against Ukraine. The hope is that these sanctions can non-violently deescalate the situation – and hopefully deter other aggressors from taking similar military action in the future.

Russian oligarchs targeted by these sanctions are believed to be governmental influencers powerful enough to qualify as being part of the Russian government.

Michael Moore, a founding partner of Moore & Co., a law firm with expertise in maritime law, was recently interviewed on the topic. “Seizing yachts”, Moore says, “generically means a private party instigates action to take control of them. For example, the private party may be the U.S. government, asking allies to conduct some version of taking control. However, whether that seizure will hold up in court later is an entirely other matter. The process can drag out for a year and a half”, Moore adds, “if a yacht owner fights the action.”

“That wrangle will include, in part, judges deciding whether the owners of the seized yachts are effectively agents of the Russian government and appropriately within scope of the sanctions order.”

Now, let’s take a look at some of the biggest and most impressive superyachts seized from Russian oligarchs.

Lady M

First up, there’s the “Lady M” superyacht, which is pretty tame by the standards of this list. This 215-foot yacht was owned by Alexei Mordashov, known as Russia’s wealthiest businessman and estimated to have a net worth of over $14 billion. The Lady M has a number of impressive features, including six guest cabins and accommodations for a crew of 14. It also has a pool and a fully functioning gym. These features and others help to justify its estimated value of $27 million.

Lady M

Mark Harkin, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, the Lady M is just one of Mordashov’s superyachts, and one of his other vessels is even bigger. The Nord, by contrast is estimated to be worth $500 million, standing at 464 feet with two helipads and a built-in waterfall. The Nord can also fit 36 guests. Mordashov has anchored this vessel in the Seychelles, where it will be exempt from U.S. and E.U. sanctions.


Officials in Italy were responsible for seizing the Lena, a 132-foot superyacht that was previously owned by energy industry leader Gennady Timchenko. It’s estimated to be worth $8 million, with five cabins and occupancy for ten guests. At the time of seizing, it was occupying the port of San Remo on the Italian Riviera.


If you’re wondering about the strange name, the SY A simply stands for “Sailing Yacht A,” and it’s considered one of the world's biggest and most valuable superyachts. It’s currently valued at $440 million and stands at 469 feet, just beating the Nord in terms of size. SY A was owned by fertilizer industry leader Andrey Melnichenko before being seized in the Italian port of Trieste in March.


Feliz, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

This yacht has a stunning assortment of features, including eight decks, multiple elevators, and even an observation area for underwater life. The vessel also sports some of the tallest masts of any ship in the world.


So far, most of the superyacht seizures have been in Italy, but there have also been some seizures in Spain – like the seizure of Sergei Chemezov’s vessel, Valerie. Valerie is a 279-foot superyacht that was recently moored in Barcelona, estimated to be worth $140 million or more. Chemezov himself is a former KGB officer who now heads the state conglomerate Rostec, which supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

JanManu, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Valerie offers six decks to its guests, and sports a variety of interesting features, with the top sundeck sporting a bar, a large pool, a hot tub, and even a full wellness area with a gym, massage room, steam room, and beauty salon.

Amore Vero

Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Rosneft (a Russian energy company, and the third-largest company in the country), owned a $120 million superyacht known as the Amore Vero. This 289-foot vessel was leaving the French town of La Ciotat when French officials seized it. The vessel had a built-in Jacuzzi, extensions for the balcony, and a swimming pool that could be converted into a helipad.

The Crescent

The Crescent is a 445-foot superyacht impounded in Spain until its ownership is officially determined. Right now, it’s thought that the superyacht belongs to Sechin (who also owns the Amore Vero). The full details of this ship aren’t public knowledge, but we know the vessel was around $600 million and can house up to 18 guests and 24 crew members.

The Tango

One of the most recent superyacht seizures was handled by the United States. In Spain, U.S. government officials seized the 254-foot yacht The Tango – owned by Viktor Vekselberg, a Putin ally and billionaire in charge of the Renova Group. This yacht is just one of many assets held by Vekselberg in the United States that are now frozen. American companies are also no longer permitted to do business with Vekselberg or his business entities.

You don’t have to be a Russian oligarch to have a yacht, nor do you have to be rich. In fact, even if you have a relatively small budget, you can often find a yacht you can afford – as long as you know where to look.

Here at TheYachtMarket, we have a large collection of new and used vessels to explore, so check out our selection today!

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