Missing Russian Luxury Yacht Magically Reappears After Sanctions Lifted

A photo of the La Datcha superyacht at sea.
A photo of the La Datcha superyacht at sea.

Now you see it, now you don’t.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, countries around the world imposed strict sanctions on just about anyone with ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. These measures meant that people like Nikita Mazepin were no longer welcome in F1, and countless luxury yachts were seized as nations froze the assets of Russian oligarchs. The La Datcha superyacht was one such vessel that fell under these sanctions, but it mysteriously vanished the day such measures went into effect.

The yacht, which is owned by Russian banker and former billionaire Oleg Tinkov, was placed under economic sanctions announced by the UK government following Russia’s invasion. However, Tinkov has spent the past year fighting those measures, arguing that he has severed ties with Russia and “paid a very high price for it,” according to Autoevolution.


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Despite Tinkov pleas, the founder of Tinkoff Bank was placed on a list of sanctioned individuals, which meant the UK would seize any of his assets in the country. But the day after his name appeared on the list, his two largest possessions mysteriously disappeared. This included the $100 million La Datcha superyacht and a $63 million 2018 Dassault Falcon private jet.

Almost as soon as Tinkov was sanctioned by the UK, the yacht stopped broadcasting its location and vanished from the map. Due to La Datcha’s size, the ship is “obligated by international maritime law” to have its automatic identification system turned on at all times, reports Autoevolution. This means that the ship’s position and movements are clearly visible to other vessels at sea.

Once that system was turned off, it was incredibly difficult for lawmakers in the UK to track down La Datcha and seize it.

A photo of Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov.
A photo of Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov.

Oleg Tinkov has distanced himself from Russia.

In the year since, Tinkov has repeatedly tried to clear his name and distance himself from Putin’s regime – even calling on British billionaire Richard Branson to plead his case. Now, his efforts appear to have worked as his name has been struck from the list of sanctioned Russians.

As if by magic, within hours of his name being removed from the list, Tinkov’s superyacht has reappeared on the map once again, moored in the port city of Ensenada, Mexico. Now that Tinkov is no longer sanctioned, the yacht will once again be free to sail around the world as its owner pleases.

And sail around the world it shall, as this is one of the rare luxury yachts that really can go almost anywhere. La Datcha is dubbed the world’s only “privately owned icebreaker” and features a hull designed to navigate frozen seas.

The vessel, which measures 252 feet in length, has space for up to 14 guests and a crew of 25 onboard. Its exterior was penned by Azure Yacht Design, while the interior was handled by Dutch shipyard Amels.

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