The ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis is only getting worse by the day with the event of a full-fledged war becoming a real possibility. This is only making world leaders more jittery who are worried about the economic repercussions of the conflict. Amongst other measures to bring the situation under control, Western leaders have also been constantly threatening Russia with tougher sanctions, including seizing all Russian assets.
Several news reports have claimed that a Russian-owned superyacht named Graceful was seen ‘fleeing’ from a shipyard in Germany towards Russia in an attempt to avoid being impounded due to the sanctions that might be imposed if Moscow invaded Ukraine. Guess who’s the owner of the superyacht? None other than Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.
According to the details publicly available, the Graceful was commissioned back in 2005 and the hull was constructed at the Russian shipyard Sevmash near Arkhangelsk. Sevmash is Russia’s largest shipbuilding complex which is known for nuclear submarines for the Russian Navy. After the hull’s construction was completed in 2010, it was to be transported to Germany for finishing.
On its way, it ran into a heavy storm near Norway which damaged the hull. This accident delayed the project considerably. It was later taken to Blohm and Voss in Germany for completion and it was finally delivered in 2014. It is said that the ultra-luxurious vessel had returned to Blohm and Voss for refitting in September last year, which included overhauling the engines, addition of two forward balconies, and a significant extension to the swimming platform. However, the vessel had to set sail for Russia prematurely to avoid getting impounded.
The Graceful measures 82 meters is powered by 2 MTU engines that give it a cruising speed of 14 knots and a top speed of 18 knots. The vessel also has a range of more than 4,000 nautical miles. Designed by H2 Yacht Design, the sleek superyacht is constructed out of steel and aluminum and has a tri-deck design. The posh interior of the Graceful is finished in a variety of materials and textures, including tooled leather, tapestry walls, marquetry, marble, stainless steel, ebony and untreated teak, and more. The superyacht is big enough to accommodate up to 12 guests and 14 crew.
The highlight of the vessel is its indoor swimming pool which measures 15 meters long and three meters wide.
The specialty of the pool is that its bottom can be raised to transform it into a dance floor. The multi-function area can also be transformed into a theatre thanks to the drop-down screen and projector.
In addition to that, the main deck features a formal dining room, a saloon with a white Steinway piano, a luxurious tearoom, and an alfresco dining area. The superyacht also has its own gym, cocktail bar, and a spa pool alongside another two plunge pools for hot or cold dips.
The onboard wine cellar is capable of carrying 400 bottles, while there’s a large library on the upper deck that also houses the owner’s office. If that was not all, the vessel also gets its own helideck equipped for an EC135 helicopter.
The decadent life of Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin is considered to be one of the most powerful current world leaders but countless reports allege that secretly he is also one of the richest people on this planet. According to some estimates Putin’s personal wealth amounts to more than $220 billion. While Putin has always ridiculed such claims saying he lives on a relatively modest state wage of around $135,000 a year, his critics say the Russian President lives like a king. Political critic Boris Nemtsov alleged Putin’s extraordinary wealth and assets include 43 planes, 7000 cars, 15 helicopters, and 4 superyachts. The Russian leader also reportedly has his own palace built in a highly-secure “billionaire’s village” on the outskirts of Moscow and it’s nearly twice the size of Buckingham Palace.
[All yacht images via – H2 Yacht Design]