This is reported by the publication “Dossier“.
It is noted that “Viktoria” was built at the facilities of the Sevmash military plant together with the Graceful boat. It is currently being repaired at a Turkish shipyard that prepares ships for the Turkish navy, a member of NATO.
It is reported that dry cargo and oil tankers are being repaired in Istanbul’s Tuzla port, and nearby are docks where warships are being built for the Turkish navy. It was on satellite images received by Dossier journalists that a piece of the “Victoria”, which is in the hangar, got into.
On October 21, “Viktoria” left Sochi and two days later moored west of the shipyard in Istanbul. On the morning of October 25, the ship moved to the docks, turned off the transmitter (AIS) and stopped appearing on the maps of profile services. Journalists also managed to film the ship using drones.
The publication emphasizes that so-called superyachts – vessels with a length of 24-30 meters, can cost millions, as well as their maintenance.
“Such superyachts are in demand among Russian officials and oligarchs, but they are not produced in Russia — orders are mostly fulfilled by European shipyards,” the investigators note.
However, “Victoria” was an exception, as it was built by the Sevmash military plant, the main product of which is nuclear submarines.
“Sevmash” was to build two yachts. The work dragged on, one of the boats was broken, and the other was almost lost due to financing problems. In 2016, Sevmash refused civilian orders. Two yachts of the A-1331 project became the only ones released by the military shipyard. The first is Victoria, it was started to be prepared in 2005. A year later, work began on the second, now world-famous Graceful,” the investigation says.
The cost of the ship, stated in the customs declaration in 2019, is $50.1 million. The same document describes the main characteristics of the ship, including a design feature: two master cabins on board.
“There are also master cabins on the Graceful yacht, and the president’s residences always have two separate bedrooms: for the master and for the mistress,” the journalists explain.
According to the Dossier, Victoria is based in Sochi and periodically reaches Cape Idokopas, where Vladimir Putin’s palace is located. Just off the cape, the vessel turns off AIS and disappears from radar. In the summer of 2021, the ship left Sochi and reached the Crimea. On this trip, the yacht was accompanied by the 38.5-meter Orion boat.
In addition, journalists discovered “Victoria” in a photo on the account of Natalia Belugina, a rhythmic gymnast and choreographer-producer of the “Alina” festival, which is organized by Alina Kabaeva every year. An anonymous source reported that both Kabaeva and Belugina use this vessel.
After the arrest of “Shacherezada”, “Victoria” is the largest yacht in the Black Sea, connected to Putin. In total, there are about ten of them.
“Vladimir Putin was not photographed vacationing on board the “Victoria”, so there is no direct documentary evidence that this is his vessel. But, as in the case of other presidential yachts, there is a lot of indirect confirmation: it is a specially selected crew and the route of the ship that lies next to the presidential palace, both the formal owner and the unusual history of construction. The Dossier interlocutor, who is familiar with the progress of work on the boat, has no doubt that only a Russian leader could order a yacht from a military plant that produces nuclear submarines. After all, even the agent in the “Victoria” is the same as the one in the now-arrested yacht “Shaherezada”, the journalists explain.
Graceful and Victoria left the main berths simultaneously on October 21, 2023. The first yacht went for maintenance to Kaliningrad, to the “Yantar” plant, the second to the Desan shipyard in Istanbul.
“A Turkish company is a logical choice for repairs if there is a risk that the ship could be sanctioned and arrested. But Desan is not a simple company. It was founded in 1978, is now owned by the Kaptanoglu Group and deals not only with civil orders, but also builds warships for Turkey, a member of NATO, and also received permission from the North Atlantic Alliance to work with classified data,” the investigators added.
- In Italy, Vladimir Putin’s arrested yacht “Scheherazade” worth $700 million was repaired and launched.