As part of an international pressure campaign on Russia, authorities from around the world have seized more than a half-dozen superyachts belonging to billionaire oligarchs allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The yacht seizures since the Feb. 24 invasion are "just the beginning," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in March, as an international task force worked to identify further assets that can be seized or frozen.
“The Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable those who facilitate the death and destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said of the ongoing efforts in May.
Here are the superyachts government officials have seized since Russia invaded Ukraine last month.
The Justice Department announced May 5 that the Fijian government had seized billionaire oligarch Suleiman Kerimov's 348-foot yacht Amadea. The vessel, which is valued at more than $300 million, arrived in Fiji last month. Kerimov, who's worth an estimated $14 billion and has ties to the Russian government, was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department over alleged money laundering in 2018.
Special features on the sprawling yacht include a helipad, infinity pool, a jacuzzi and multiple bars, according to a report in Boat International. It can accommodate 16 overnight guests in addition to 36 crew members, the report said.
In April, Spanish law-enforcement officials seized a 255-foot yacht called the Tango, which Justice Department says is owned by oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Vekselberg is an aluminum magnate who the Treasury Department says has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Tango is worth an estimated $90 million, prosecutors said, and Vekselberg allegedly purchased it through shell companies. The 11-year-old yacht has seven staterooms and reportedly includes amenities such as a pool, gym and beauty salon.
Authorities in Italy seized a 215-foot superyacht called the Lady M this month. It's owned by Alexei Mordashov, Russia's richest businessman, and it’s estimated to be worth $27 million. The vessel, which requires a crew of 14, has six guest cabins, a pool and a gym.
But it pales in comparison to another of Mordashov's yachts, the $500 million Nord. The 464-foot vessel, which has two helipads and a waterfall and can accommodate 36 guests, was anchored this month in the Seychelles, where the U.S. and European Union sanctions don’t apply.
Italian officials also seized the 132-foot superyacht Lena, owned by the energy magnate Gennady Timchenko. Estimated to be worth $8 million, it has five cabins and can accommodate 10 guests.
SY A — short for Sailing Yacht A — is one of the world's largest superyachts. Valued at over $440 million, the 469-foot vessel, owned by the fertilizer magnate Andrey Melnichenko, has eight decks, multiple elevators, an underwater observation area and the world's tallest masts. It was seized in the Italian port of Trieste.
Authorities in Spain seized Sergei Chemezov's Valerie, a 279-foot superyacht that had been moored in Barcelona. Chemezov, a former KGB officer, heads the state conglomerate Rostec. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez touted the seizure on La Sexta television. “We are talking about a yacht that we estimate is worth $140 million,” Sanchez said.
Officials in France announced this month that they had seized the 289-foot Amore Vero, which was undergoing repairs in a shipyard near Marseille. When they arrived, authorities said, they found the crew preparing for an urgent departure, even though the repair work was scheduled to last through April. The $120 million boat, which has seven cabins, is linked to Igor Sechin, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as a close ally of Putin's.