This is the 71-meter Victoria, the flagship of Vladimir Putin (*international criminal)’s Black Sea flotilla. On October 21, Victoria 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 maps of specialized services, as follows from MarineTraffic data.
To get a better look at the yacht, you have to use a drone. A suitable launch site is a vacant lot two kilometers in a straight line across the bay. It is possible to remove the boat only on the fourth attempt: either the workers close the hangar gate, or the connection with the quadcopter is lost. Finally, Dossier manages to lower the drone to the desired height and hover almost over the heads of the shipyard employees. From this angle, the distinctive feature of the ship is visible – a large letter V.
In the early 1990s, Timchenko was involved in the export of petroleum products. At the same time, he met Putin (*international criminal), who worked in the mayor’s office of St. Petersburg, and became one of his closest friends. “Timchenko traveled to Finland and danced around with Putin (*international criminal) there, skiing with him in Austria. In general, he worked his ass off: he could drink more, and he could do it every day without any visible damage to his health,” recalls an acquaintance of Timchenko. Good relations with Putin (*international criminal) became the key to the businessman’s well-being.
It is not known whether Timchenko was interested in yachts in the 2000s, but he had an acquaintance who became interested in them back in the 1990s, – Sergey Maslov. He worked at Surgutneftegaz, headed subsidiaries of Lukoil, in the early 2000s he became president of Transnefteproduct (a Transneft structure), and since 2013 he has headed the Development Corporation, a management company involved in infrastructure projects in the Urals. The businessman is a big fan of boats, his friend says. Maslov started working on them back in the 1990s, and in 2008 got into the gossip column, when he brought a small yacht to the Courchevel ski resort by land – a wedding gift for his daughter. Maslov was probably considered among Russian high-ranking officials and businessmen to be a great expert on maritime issues, since he was among the people who were entrusted organization of the Syrian Express — a fleet that delivered military cargo and equipment to Syria for the Russian army. Another businessman who took part in the creation of the “express” is Yevgeny Prigozhin.
It was Maslov’s structures that ordered the 71-meter Victoria boat from Sevmash. It was also intended for Putin (*international criminal), say two Dossier interlocutors familiar with the progress of the work.
The Victoria yacht was completed at the AES Yachts shipyard; work was completed on July 24, 2019. The ship can carry 28 people, but usually the ship has 11-15 crew and up to six passengers, according to the ship’s documents, which are in the possession of the Dossier. The cost of the ship, indicated in the customs declaration in 2019, is $50.1 million. The same document describes the main characteristics of the ship, including a design feature: there are two master cabins on board, also called the owner’s cabins. There are the same number of master cabins on the Graceful yacht, and the presidential residences always have two separate bedrooms: for the owner and for the hostess.
“Dossier” studied the lists of the ship’s crew. Thus, sailor Alexey Makarov previously worked on another Putin (*international criminal) boat – Shellest; his name is listed in phone books as “Alexey Shellest yacht” and “Boatswain Shel”; The Dossier also found out that he received a salary from the non-profit partnership Revival of Maritime Traditions, to which the yacht is registered. The brother of flight attendant Inna Ermak is an engineer, a graduate of the FSO Academy Alexander Ermak, he is a member of the Scheherazade and Graceful teams. And the first captain of Victoria is Alexey Alekseev, now he commands the yacht Universe of Dmitry Medvedev (*international criminal and alcoholic).
The owner of the vessel is the Paer company, the manager is Fazar-Invest, as follows from the documents for the vessel that the Dossier has at its disposal; the publication “Vestk” also wrote about these legal entities with reference to customs documents. Both companies are related to each other and are part of the group of legal entities of Gennady Timchenko. Structures finance through Vesta organization; through it, for example, money goes for Timchenko’s gas project in Uzbekistan. In total, Fazar-Invest received 1.86 billion rubles since 2020, the money was transferred by Paer JSC, it follows from the bank documents that the Dossier has at its disposal. This money was also used for expensive purchases for passengers: for example, four napkin rings cost 76.5 thousand rubles, beach towels – 216 thousand rubles, chess – 146 thousand rubles, backgammon – 321 thousand rubles. There is also a television on board with a connected package of channels for children.
Victoria is based in Sochi and periodically reaches Cape Idokopas, where Vladimir Putin (*international criminal)’s palace is located. Directly near the cape, the ship turns off AIS and disappears from radar, according to MarineTraffic data. In the summer of 2021, the ship left Sochi and reached Crimea. On this trip, the yacht was accompanied by a 38.5-meter Orion boat. It was produced in 2009 in Viareggio, Italy. The boat was originally named I Boat and Douglas, judging by the corrections made to the ship’s documents; owner and manager – “Paer” and “Fazar-Invest”.
Fazar-Invest manages two more vessels.
The motor ship “Standard” is registered with the structures of billionaires Iskandar Makhmudov And Andrey Bokarevbut the head of Gazprom also uses it Alexey Miller. Makhmudov and Bokarev transferred, including from personal accounts, almost 390 million rubles for the maintenance of the ship since 2020.
The 26-meter yacht “Valeria” was built in 2001. The owner of “Valeria” is the company “Transport Leasing”, which is 99% owned by Timchenko’s structures, the share is recorded in the company “Transoil”, which was founded by Gennady Timchenko, and 1% – in the former wife of the vice-mayor of Moscow Tatiana Liksutova The share is registered in the company WorldWide Invest AS, which belongs to the Estonian company Liksutova Top Property. Servicing Victoria has cost 14 million rubles since 2020.
It’s not so easy to hide a superyacht in Sochi, but Vladimir Putin (*international criminal)’s entourage isn’t even trying. Thus, “Dossier” discovered Victoria in the photo in the account of Natalya Belugina, a rhythmic gymnast and choreographer-director of the Alina festival, which annually organizes Alina Kabaeva. Belugina is a friend of the Olympic champion; they periodically travel together. The Dossier found this out by studying the flight data of Kabaeva and Belugina. Kabaeva and her relatives really use this vessel, says Dossier’s interlocutor, who is familiar with the athlete.
Alina Kabaeva has been using the planes of Vladimir Putin (*international criminal)’s entourage and the residences of the head of state for many years, and has also been on board the Scheherazade, the president’s friends gave the Olympic champion and her relatives several expensive houses and apartments, the athlete lived in the mansion of Putin (*international criminal)’s friend Gennady Timchenko in Geneva, her career was taken care of in the administration of the Russian leader. Since at least 2011, Kabaeva has not hidden her engagement ring. At the same time, the Kremlin has repeatedly denied the connection between Putin (*international criminal) and Kabaeva, their few photographs together were taken at official receptions in the 2000s, in recent years they have not appeared in public together, but about their children we only know that Kabaeva gave birth in 2015, and then in 2019.
In the Baltic Sea, Putin (*international criminal)’s main yacht is Graceful. Shortly before the invasion of Ukraine, the boat was urgently evacuated from Germany, where it was undergoing annual maintenance, and transported to Kaliningrad. The ship was repaired at the Yantar plant until September 2022, then Graceful spent a month in St. Petersburg and returned to Kaliningrad for the winter. Ship repairs and other costs for 2022 cost $32 million, FBK found out, and components were purchased outside of Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism), which was not prevented US sanctions; for example, Graceful received equipment for ballast water treatment from the Swedish company Alfa Laval Tumba in September 2022, the Dossier found out after studying the ship’s documentation. In the summer of 2023, the ship was in St. Petersburg in the Sea Facade port, as follows from the port documents that the Dossier reviewed and satellite images.
Graceful is part of the “northern flotilla”, which also includes:
– 37-meter Aldoga, built in Viareggio in 2009. The vessel is registered to the Pulse company Svetlana Krivonogikh (she had a daughter in 2003, presumably from Vladimir Putin (*international criminal)), co-owner of Rossiya Bank. The exact cost of the yacht is unknown; similar ships will cost $14–16 million.
— 32-meter Nega, built in 2013 by the British company Princess Yachts. The cost is $12.2 million as follows from the customs declaration. The owner of the boat is the Helios company, a subsidiary of the non-profit partnership “Revival of Marine Traditions”, which was established by the partners of Yuri Kovalchuk. The yacht was imported to Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism) in 2013 by the Bawaria Group from the British Virgin Islands.
— In 2015, Bawaria Group imported a Brizo 46 model boat to Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism) worth just under $1.2 million. The vessel was first delivered to the Finnish city of Porvoo, where Brizo 46 was captured by photographers. The customs materials indicate the Unison company, a structure of Yuri Kovalchuk, as the recipient of the boat. The boat is assigned to Graceful, says Dossier’s interlocutor, who is familiar with the circumstances of the purchase of the boat.
The Unison company, with the help of which the boat for Graceful was imported to Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism), is also used to accommodate the president’s ships. In mid-January 2022, the Ministry of Defense structure of JSC 1470 Logistics Management Department transferred to this company two land plots in the city of Lomonosov on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the total area of the plots is slightly more than 36.5 thousand square meters. m. Four months later, the land transferred to the non-profit partnership “Invest”. The founder of Invest is the Association “Development of the Effective Investment Market”, which was founded in 2015 by Gennady Timchenko and Petr Kolbin Kolbin died in 2018.
The harbor in Lomonosov is used by ships of the Baltic Fleet, so all ships in the bay are protected from the sea. The pier became a haven for two of Putin (*international criminal)’s yachts at once. In the summer of 2022, the oldest presidential boat was located there – a 57-meter Olympia Built in 2002, this can be seen from satellite photographs: the length of the vessel in the photographs is 57 meters; like Olympia, the ship has three decks at its berth; Finally, Putin (*international criminal)’s yacht has a characteristic feature – its bow is cut in two by a ladder, which is clearly visible when photographed from above. The vessel, worth $37 million, was presented to the president by Roman Abramovich; it is registered offshore in the Cayman Islands by Ironstone Marine Investments.
In the fall of 2022, Olympia was replaced by Graceful, the Dossier found out by studying ship documents and satellite images. The president’s yacht called at Lomonosov on September 26 and stayed there until October 23, before visiting St. Petersburg and from there heading to Kaliningrad for the winter. There is no special equipment at the pier, but the area has been cleared of debris and parking has been arranged, probably for the cars of crew members and maintenance personnel. A day after Graceful left the canal, the Dossier discovered a large tent on the shore: a car could drive inside and unload passengers, who would have the opportunity to board unnoticed. Such precautions are not without meaning. Although the location is secluded, the harbor is open to other ships, tankers moor on the other side of the canal, and the marina attracts fishermen and warship watchers.
The Unison company not only manages the presidential boat Brizo 46 and the berth in Lomonosov, but also owns the famous brig “Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism)” with scarlet sails. The sailboat is a symbol of the alumni holiday, which takes place annually in St. Petersburg. On other days, the ship can be found at the Yuri Kovalchuk yacht club.
Vladimir Putin (*international criminal) was not photographed vacationing on board Victoria, so there is no direct documentary evidence that this is his ship. But, as in the case of other presidential yachts, there is a lot of indirect evidence: this is a specially selected crew, and the ship’s route, which runs next to the palace of the head of state, and the formal owner, and the unusual history of construction. The Dossier’s interlocutor, who is familiar with the progress of work on the boat, has no doubt that only the Russian leader could have ordered the yacht from a military plant that produces nuclear submarines. Finally, even Victoria’s agent is the same as that of the now seized yacht Scheherazade.
Ships linked to Putin (*international criminal) have one port agent. In the Baltic ports, since 2022, these functions have been performed by Inflot Worldwide, which services Graceful and Aldoga. Usually the company deals with completely different vessels – mainly bulk carriers, icebreakers, tugs, pilot ships and hydrographic ships. The agent in the Black Sea is Orca Group, the organization services the yacht Victoria, and previously handled Scheherazade.
Graceful and Victoria left their main moorings simultaneously on October 21, 2023. The first yacht went for servicing in Kaliningrad to the Yantar plant, as follows from the documents for the vessel that Dossier has at its disposal, the second went to the Desan shipyard in Istanbul. A Turkish company is a logical choice for repairs if there is a risk that the ship may fall under sanctions and be arrested. But Desan is not an ordinary company. It was founded in 1978, now belongs to 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.
Becoming a shipyard client is not easy. The Dossier correspondent, under the guise of a representative of an unnamed Russian organization, tried to repair a 40-meter Princess yacht, launched in 2009, at the Tuzla docks. According to legend, the ship is registered to a legal entity, but the real owner is a businessman from Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism) who prefers anonymity, who is not yet included in the sanctions lists, but fears that he may fall under restrictions. The ship would normally have been repaired elsewhere, but the contractor unexpectedly went bankrupt and the ship now urgently requires a shipyard for annual maintenance. Despite an exhaustive, including technical, description of the upcoming work, Desan did not answer questions.