Russian oligarchs seems to be on the run as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s incursions into Ukraine enter their seventh day. Reportedly these Russian oligarchs are fleeing to Maldives in their luxury yachts as US plans to seize their assets.
In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, President Biden declared that the US and Europe might “seize” the resources of Russian billionaires. Locating Russian billionaires, whether by air or by sea, has now become a simple task thanks to the Twitterverse.
According to Bloomberg, the Maldives is home to the four largest Russian-owned luxury yachts. The largest is Ocean Victory, a 140-meter superyacht belonging to Russian billionaire Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov, who gained his fortune in the iron and steel sector. In the same location, aluminum mogul Oleg Deripaska is cruising his 72-meter yacht, Clio.
Another steel billionaire, Alexei Mordashov, has a 142-meter superyacht called Nord, which is presently traversing Seychelles. The 66-meter Sea Rhapsody of Russian banker Andrey Kostin is now cruising between Somalia and the Maldives.
An estimated 7% to 10% of the global superyacht fleet is owned by Russians, according to industry watcher Superyacht Group. Overall yacht counts have dipped to 10 from 19 this time last year in the Maldives, while they’ve climbed from five to 12 in the Seychelles, a former British colony known for its palm- fringed islands and sandy beaches. – Bloomberg
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It’s never been simpler to follow Russian billionaires by air. Jack Sweeney, 19, started the “Russian Oligarch Jets” Twitter account to track the flights of several of Russia’s biggest businesspeople. When and where the private jets take off and land, the Twitter bot informs followers.
Following the invasion, Russian oligarchs have been moving across the world, exacerbating the situation for Russia and the ruling class. The Biden administration has stated unequivocally that they will “seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets,” which is likely why some people are escaping to the Indian Ocean.
“Tonight, I say to the Russian oligarchs and the corrupt leaders who built billions off this violent regime — no more,” Biden said last night. “We’re coming for your ill-begotten gains.”