- Vladimir Putin’s yacht “Graceful” left Hamburg before finishing repairs, German media reported.
- It is speculated “Graceful” made an abrupt exit to avoid Western sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine.
- The luxury superyacht is said to be worth at least $100 million.
It is unclear what prompted the move, but the $100 million yacht’s relocation from German waters to Kaliningrad, part of Russian territory, comes amid fears the West would impose sanctions if Russia were to invade Ukraine.
Although Moscow has continuously denied any plans to invade its neighbor, it has gathered over 100,000 troops at positions all around Ukraine and has even sent six assault ships into the Black Sea, moving more combat power towards the former Soviet territory.
The US and UK have warned of sanctions on Russian elites, and President Joe Biden has threatened to sanction Putin personally should Russia decide to attack Ukraine. He has also deployed troops to eastern Europe to support NATO and has put thousands of US troops on “heightened alert” as tensions rise.
Some have speculated that sanctions could potentially target certain luxury assets. The yacht “Graceful” was spotted on a public maritime traffic tracking site sailing for Kaliningrad.
—Manu Gómez (@GDarkconrad) February 9, 2022
“Graceful” arrived in Hamburg, Germany in 2021, where the superyacht has been receiving several modifications, including two forward balconies and an extension to the swimming platform, Boat International reported.
It was built by German ship-building company Blohm & Voss and was officially launched in 2014. Designed by H2 Yacht Design, “Graceful” is classified as a tri-deck superyacht, according to Boat International.
The luxury yacht is 270 feet long and equipped with a gym, a saloon featuring a white Steinway piano, spa, library, and 49-foot indoor pool that can be converted into a dance floor, among other amenities. The vessel is meant to accommodate up to 12 guests and 14 crew.
H2 founder Jonny Horsfield told Boat International in 2015 that “Graceful” was meant to be a timeless yacht.
“The owner is a very confident person,” Horsfield told the outlet without mentioning Putin directly. “He knows what he likes and he’s not a slave to trends.”
The Russian president’s net worth is unknown, but it has been speculated that Putin is worth as much as $200 billion, if not more, Fortune previously reported. Documents leaked last year suggest that Putin has secret assets abroad in addition to his wealth in Russia.