An investigative unit focused on combatting corruption among Russian officials says it has further proof that Vladmir Putin has a bigger fleet of yachts. In fact, it says Putin owns two more superyachts, bringing the total number to 10.
The investigative unit is the Dossier Centre, funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian dissident. A detailed report on the organization’s website indicates that the two yachts are the 233-foot (71-meter) Victoria and 126-foot (38.5-meter) Orion. An unnamed source who previously worked with Putin provided some information. Its own correspondents sought further evidence.
Although Dossier reveals little about Orion, it provides detailed information about Victoria (above). For instance, its source says that she saw construction at Sevmash. Notably, Sevmash is Russia’s only nuclear submarine shipyard. It also built just two yachts, the other being the well-known Graceful (below), which has been under international sanctions since 2022. Delays impacted both yachts at Sevmash. Having started construction there in 2006, Graceful departed Blohm + Voss in 2014, following three years of work. Victoria, meanwhile, started construction in 2005 at Sevmash, but work paused in 2008, restarting in late 2013. Dossier reports that she then transferred to ISA Yachts shortly thereafter, citing correspondence mentioning dissatisfaction with Sevmash’s quality. For unexplained reasons, ISA Yachts did not work on her, and she transferred yet again in 2015 to AES Yachts in Turkey. Ultimately, AES finished her, in 2018.
Victoria uses Sochi, Russia as her homeport. In addition, in reviewing AIS data in years past, Dossier has tracked her visiting a palace belonging to Putin. She also departed Sochi for Crimea during the summer of 2021, accompanied by Orion. Although Dossier doesn’t provide further information about Orion, she saw delivery in 2009 from Sanlorenzo and changed hands in 2016. She currently flies the Russian flag, too. AIS data from October 24—when her signal was last active—showed her in Tuzla, Turkey.
Dossier also discovered Victoria in Tuzla in a naval shipyard in early November. They used AIS to track her departure from Sochi on October 21 and arrival west of the yard on October 23. Victoria turned off her AIS on October 25 upon moving to the shipyard’s docks. Moreover, Dossier used a drone in early November to confirm that Victoria is still inside the shipyard, since she cannot be seen from the water. The drone produced images of a distinctive “V” on one of the yacht’s aft decks, confirming her identity.
Even while asserting that Putin owns two more superyachts, Dossier says no documents directly connect Putin to either one. Instead, it says the circumstantial evidence is proof, including the links to Sevmash and the yachts’ cruising routes. It also says crew manifests, which include the names of personnel connected to Putin’s other yachts, back up the conviction. One last piece of circumstantial evidence: Victoria shares the same agent as Scheherazade, frozen by Italy in 2022. Residents of the city where Scheherazade is frozen have long referred to her as Putin’s yacht.
If Dossier and its informant are correct, the remaining yachts belonging to Putin are the 177-foot (54-meter) Chaika; the 151-foot (46-meter) Shellest, which is under sanctions; the 187-foot (57-meter) Olympia; the 121-foot (37-meter) Aldoga; 105-foot (32-meter) Nega; and a custom 46-footer (14-meter) accompanying Graceful.