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This $200 Million Russian Superyacht Could Be Auctioned Off to Aid Ukraine

The 303-foot vessel, known as "Royal Romance," was delivered by Feadship in 2015.

Royal Romance Tjerk Zweers/Wikimedia Commons

One Russian oligarch’s loss could be Ukraine’s gain.

A $200 million superyacht, which reportedly belongs to long-time Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk, will be sold at auction to benefit Ukraine, according to The Guardian.

The 303-footer, known as Royal Romance, was seized in Croatia earlier this year as part of the widespread Western sanctions imposed against Russian individuals and businesses following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government said a Croatian court had ruled that the vessel should be transferred to the Ukrainian Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA). The agency stated it would “preserve the economic value by selling it at auction.”

Delivered by Dutch yard Feadship in 2015, the custom superyacht features a sleek steel hull and a lightweight aluminum superstructure. Onboard, she has seven staterooms for up to 14 guests and cabins for 21 crew, plus a 39-foot swimming pool with a waterfall that flows over the stern.

ARMA said its representatives had flown to Croatia and “inspected the arrested yacht belonging to the family members of a people’s deputy and one of the leaders of a political force banned in Ukraine.”

Medvedchuk, who is often referred to as the “dark prince” of Ukrainian politics, has led a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine for years. He has also been a loyal ally of Putin for the past two decades. The Russian president is even godfather to his daughter Daria, as reported by The Guardian. Medvedchuk has been sanctioned by the US, the UK and Ukraine. He was arrested in Ukraine in April, then handed over to Russia in a prisoner exchange in September.

The auction of Royal Romance would mark the first such sale on behalf of the people of Ukraine. Back in September, a $75 million superyacht that was seized from Russian steel magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky was auctioned off Gibraltar. However, the proceeds went to JP Morgan after a legal claim from the US investment bank said Pumpyansky’s holding company Pyrene Investments owed it more than $20 million. Let’s hope Ukraine sees the funds this time around.

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