Since the start of the Ukraine invasion, scores of Russian oligarchs have been sanctioned and luxury yachts worth billions have been seized, but till date not one of these floating palaces have benefitted the people of Ukraine. It seems that business oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk’s $200 million superyacht Royal Romance has changed the aforementioned. Thanks to a ruling of the Croatian court, Medvedchuk’s romance with his yacht ends in order to benefit Ukraine. It would be the first such sale on behalf of the people of Ukraine ever since the saga of sanctions by the EU and western governments began in February. The pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician was arrested in Ukraine in April and handed over to Russia in a prisoner exchange in September. The “dark prince” of Ukrainian politics chose Putin as godfather to his daughter Daria, according to The Guardian. Transferring his beloved 303-footer, Royal Romance, to the Ukrainian Asset Recovery and Management Agency (Arma) will be the perfect case of adding insult to injury.
Croatian police raided the yacht last month on behalf of the FBI to search the pleasure craft of Medvedchuk and his wife, Oksana Marchenko, whose name was linked with alleged money laundering. While the 303-footer will be the first vessel sold to benefit Ukraine, it is not the first seized vessel to be sold.
The first seized superyacht to be auctioned was the $75 million Axioma, belonging to Dmitry Pumpyansky. It was sold for a cool $37.5 million. The sale proceeds went to US bank J.P. Morgan to settle a $12.5 million loan-related controversy.
What lies inside the Royal Romance yacht?
This 2015 Feadship beauty is a 303 feet stunner flaunting an elegant steel hull and a lightweight aluminum superstructure. The exterior design was by Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects, and the interiors by Seymour Diamond, who worked closely with oligarch Medvedchuk on the fully-custom build superyacht. The nearly $200 million luxury vessel can accommodate 14 guests in seven luxurious cabins serviced by a professional crew of 21. Among the striking amenities and plush features like a 39-foot swimming pool with a waterfall that flows over the stern, it is interesting to learn the ship flaunts about 50 multipurpose rooms on its six floors and four decks, according to ARMA. Other conveniences include two elevators, a wellness area with a gym, a salon and spa, and a movie theater.
Viktor Medvedchuk, the dark prince of Ukrainian politics-
This 68-year-old Ukrainian lawyer turned oligarch was a pro-kremlin politician with investments including energy, resources, and media. The Putin-ally was married three times and possessed a replica of a Pullman dining car gifted by his current and third wife, Oksana Marchenko. In addition to the Royal Romance motoryacht, the oligarch’s Bell 427 helicopter and a Gulfstream G650 business jet were also seized and handed over to the Ukrainian Army.