Putin’s point man in Ukraine buys $214-million yacht

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2015/08/22 • News

Putin’s crony Viktor Medvedchuk has become the owner of a luxurious five-deck mega yacht which made its first appearance on the Cote d’Azur in France in August. The information was reported by MP and former journalist Serhiy Leshchenko in his blog, August 20.

Medvedchuk, who was former chief of staff to President Leonid Kuchma, heads up the pro-Russian and anti-EU political organization called People’s Choice and was widely rumored to be Putin’s choice to govern the semi-autonomous Donetsk “republic” under Kremlin’s control. Putin is godfather to one of Medvedchuk’s daughters.

medvedchuk2The yacht named Royal Romance is 92.5 meters in length and is considered unique in its engineering and design. It was completed late last year at the Makkum shipyardof the Royal Dutch Feadship shipyards, which is widely recognized as the world leader in custom-built super yachts.In mid-July the yacht left the port in Amsterdam in order to arrive in time for Medvedchuk’s birthday on August 7.

According to Leshchenko, Medvedchuk spent almost 180 million euros (US $214 million) for this masterpiece.

“This is the newest yacht in the world,” Leshchenko quotes a specialist. ” It was built at one of the most expensive shipyards in the world. One meter of such a yacht costs 2-2.5 million euros. No one knows the exact cost, but Medvedchuk’s new yacht is worth around 180 million euros,” the specialist concluded.

As Leshchenko points out, the cost is astronomical and tops the cost of the air fleet of Rinat Akhmetov, who is considered Ukraine’s richest man.

“For most of Medvedchuk’s fellow citizens, it does not matter if the sum is 180 thousand or 180 million euros,” Leshchnko writes. “Both sums are of the same order — incredible. This is worth more than Akhmetov’s entire personal fleet, which consists of three Airbus A-319 aircraft and two Falcons.”

yacht2The main feature of Medvedchuk’s yacht is the 12-meter swimming pool on the main deck, which flows into a backlit waterfall. According to the publication Superyacht Times, it is the largest pool ever installed on any Feadship yacht. The article writer notes that in its appearance, cost, and interior configuration, the yacht is considered unique.

Furthermore, this is not Medvedchuk’s only yacht. Earlier he had a yacht called Romance, which, based on available photos of the interior, shared the extravagant décor scheme favored at Yanukovych’s Mezhyhiria. Even the faucet handles in the form of gold swans were the same, Leshchenko writes.

For Leshchenko, the main question is how did Medvedchuk amass the sums required for such a an acquisition, since he was never known to have invented any unique technology nor to have owned appropriate assets. He concludes that Medvedchuk’s money is rooted in Ukrainian politics.

According to Leshchenko’s sources, Medvedchuk was one of the middlemen in the sale of Vitaliy Haiduk’s shares in the Industrial Union of the Donbas, one of Ukraine’s largest steel groups, to the Russian state corporation Vneshekonombank (VEB). The chairman of VEB’s supervisory board at the time was Vladimir Putin. Much more than a billion dollars were paid, but the seller obtained only part of that sum, Leshchenko writes.

In conclusion, Leshchenko calls on the Russian anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny to investigate if the money of Russian tax-payers allowed Putin’s crony to buy the most modern yacht in the world.

He also points out that, although the Royal Romance yacht is sailing under the flag of Bermuda, Medvedchuk is still a citizen of Ukraine and that he intends to request that Ukrainian authorities determine if Medvedchuk has paid appropriate taxes on the income that allowed him to buy a yacht worth almost 200 million euros.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Superyachtfan
Source: Pravda
Source: Pravda

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  • Brent

    Medvedchuk is Putin’s stooge and he will ‘sell’ Ukraine to Russia.

    I’m glad he’s stupid enough to flaunt his ill gotten money on such a purchase so that Ukrainians can see he would be nothing more than a return to kleptocratic leadership.

    • Jacks Channel

      True. The guy is a piece of human trash.

    • Dave Ralph

      suprising that Medvedchuk has avoided the sanctions list – there is no way this monkey should be allowed to launder his stolen $5B or however much he’s got, anywhere in the West.

  • Jacks Channel

    Put this piece of human garbage in jail.

    By the way, the thing is ugly. Just like Medvedchuks personality.

  • Eddy Verhaeghe

    What baffles me most is the arrogance of, the showing off by those people. They think and act as if they are above the law. He certainly was, still is, but will not be forever.
    The best thing would be that Medvedchuk is also put on the European sanctions list – is already on the Canadian and US sanctions list.
    After that his nice little boat can be impounded.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    A pair of frogmen could easily attach a few limpet mines to the thing (it’s an insult to ships to call it a ship) and sink it, either in port or, even better, at sea. It’s so ugly that its sinking could hardly be described as a loss- it’s an offence to good taste.

    • Oknemfrod

      Having upvoted that on the merit of sarcasm, I’m not for destruction of property. Much better to have the origin of his sudden, unexplainable, and untaxed wealth checked and if it’s ill-gotten (it most certainly is), impound it and restore to the Ukrainian people from whom it’s been pilfered in the first place. It’s the easiest non-lethal aid service the US could render them if there were a will.

      • Eddy Verhaeghe

        I agree 101% with you! Let Medvedchuk feel the heavy hand of the law.

        • Oknemfrod

          Yup, and others of his ilk, too. It kind of makes me cringe that all those Ukraine debt and loans talks revolve around a couple of m’s here, a few b’s there, and yet there are hundreds of b’s stashed offshore by the thieves whose names are well-known and whose “assets” can be easily tapped to deliver render both financial help and justice in one package.

          • Eddy Verhaeghe

            The whosesale thievery and corruption that ‘earned’ the oligarchs, the politicians, etc… their fortunes is beyond most Westeners’ imagination. I always had great difficulties in convincing people of the fact that such large scale thievery and corruption existed and still exists in Ukraine and Russia until I heard of the privitisation of Kryvorizhstal.

            Since this story convinces everybody that the oligarchs, the politicians, etc… in Russia and Ukraine indeed did become unimaginably rich by whosesale thievery and corruption.

            In 2004 the company was sold for 800 million $ to the one and only Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk, President Kuchma’s son-in-law in a rigged sale.

            In 2005 Viktor Yushchenko, the new president had the privitisation annulled by the courts and in a new televised sale Arcelor Mittal bid 4,8 billion $ or 6 times as much! At that time the cash in and the yearly profit of the company was +/- 800 million $. In other words Akhmetov and Pinchuk would have bought Kryvorizhstal essentially for free… if they had been able to hold on to the company.
            After the war Ukraine will have to look into the ways a lot of people became rich so quickly. A one off tax on fortunes might be reasonable way to address this problem.

  • Murf

    As an avid boating enthusiast I have to say the tub has the aesthetics of a railroad box car.
    That’s not fair, a box car has a straight up utilitarian practicality to it.
    This thing looks like floating whore house.
    I can almost see a Moscow pimp leading a bevy of bimbos on board at any moment.
    Euro trash, what do you expect?

    • Oknemfrod

      >This thing looks like floating whore house. 0, and in this sense there is no difference between the Peskov’s watch, Yanukovich’s “golden loaf” paper press, and now this floating harem. As a matter of fact, the ratio above is a pretty good litmus test as far as the origin of money is concerned.

      • Murf

        You can almost imagine these Pukes devoting massive amounts of time trying to think up ways to one each other.
        I’ll keep my little 22 foot 30 year old sail boat.
        I know every nut bolt rivet seam and scratch on her. I know her every mood, when she happy, when something isn’t right when she needs attention.
        When we go out something is gained, something is learned, something is proven.
        All that fat fuk has proven is he can wast other peoples money faster than his cronies.
        He probably can’t even tie a square knot.

        • Oknemfrod

          I admire people capable of sailing and tending to their vessels.
          A square knot? He’s most likely convinced that his floating golden toilet does not sink because it’s lighter than water.

          • Murf

            LOL good one.
            Well I know where every is and what it does. Fixing gets a little more challenging.
            but it’s a process.

      • Geralt von Riva

        Abramowitsch’s-Yacht ‘Eclipse’ leaving Hamburg^^

        • Oknemfrod

          Note how the very name chosen for it dovetails into their thieving philosophy of eclipsing each other. This entire thread evokes the words from one of Mayakovsky’s poems: “Сколько человеку – даже Форду – надо?”, i.e. “How much a man – even Ford – needs?” Ford and other self-made men have never shown this pathological proclivity to ostentatiousness. After having become fabulously wealthy (much more, in terms of real money, than any of those thieves can fathom), they did indeed try to outdo each other… in philanthropy. I wonder how much of philathropy those noveau riches have done – of course, if we don’t count their “foundations”, whose sole purpose is to launder dirty money after what they call “распил бабла” (“divvying up the moolah”).

        • Eddy Verhaeghe

          After having watched this video I came to the conclusion that even in Europe Abramovitch didn’t want to properly pay for what he bought…

      • Eddy Verhaeghe

        Your ‘ratio of utility/ostentation -> 0’ is a real gem and deserves to be called Oknemfrod’s law by future students of economics, sociology and other human sciences.
        Tonight whilst discussing with some friends and my boys we even found several applications of Oknemfrod’s law in some of the most unexpected places.
        Keep up the good work!

        • Oknemfrod

          Thanks ;).

  • Dave Ralph

    he paid 214 million for that piece of sh!t??