Former Yacht of Putin’s Friend in Rijeka Port, Commenters Say to Burn it

Lauren Simmonds

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As Jurica Gaspar/Morski writes, one of the world’s most luxurious yachts, the Royal Romance, was owned by Ukrainian lawyer and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, a man close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This yacht is far from a stranger to the Croatian coast, quite on the contrary, the captain of the ship is from Croatia. It is currently moored in the Rijeka Port.

Yachts belonging to both Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs closely linked to Vladimir Putin are the target of sanctions across Europe and the rest of the world, and many owners are panicking about where to store their floating wealth. It seems that the angry Ukrainians whose country was attacked also noticed this, and there has been quite a disturbing call on social media for this yacht to be set alight in the Rijeka Port.

“The Royal Romance yacht is in Rijeka!” ”The boss is a sponsor of the war in Ukraine!” ”His money is being spent on war and rockets!” ”The boss is Putin’s buddy and now he has fled Ukraine.” ”This yacht needs to be set on fire!” were just some of the comments published on the Facebook group “Ukrainians in Croatia”, below which are messages of support, and even instructions on how to correctly throw a Molotov cocktail. However, there are also a few more creative comments, such as using the impressive vessel to accommodate refugees from Ukraine or to sell it and direct the money to support the Armed Forces fighting in Ukraine.

Since the message was published on social media and threats were being made towards the vessel in the Rijeka Port where a Croatian crew is taking care of things, the Rijeka police were asked, who were asked if the vessel was under special police protection and whether or not local police have an insight into these or similar threats, but they couldn’t answer this over the phone, so same inquiry was then sent in writing.

In the meantime, the captain of the Royal Romance yacht, Bubica Saric, made contact, saying the following:

”The yacht was sold back in March last year and is no longer owned by the aforementioned person, because if it had, it would have been in Monaco, where it was before,” he said, answering that he can’t reveal who the current owner is. He is angry, he added, because of the public name-calling of the yacht in the capacity of the former owner, because that puts his crew in danger.

This ”skyscraper at sea” was owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Superyachtfan provides some interesting information about him, and among other things, it can be learned that Medvedchuk is the founder of a law firm based in Kiev, which is currently under siege. He is also known as one of the members of the so-called ”Kyiv Seven” group, made up of seven very successful businessmen: Medvedchuk, Valentin Zhursky, Grigory and Igor Surkis, Bohdan Hubsky, Yuri Karpenko and Yuri Lijah, who died in 2004.

The K7 Group’s business background began way back in 1992 through offshore companies, which imported oil into Ukraine to sell it internally.

Viktor Medvedchuk is, among other things, a pro-Russian politician who was arrested last year and allegedly escaped from house arrest amid Russian aggression against Ukraine, Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko confirmed on Sunday, although Medvedchuk’s lawyer denied the allegations.

Medvedchuk, the leader of Ukraine’s opposition Platform – For Life, was under house arrest after authorities launched treason proceedings against him, according to Reuters and according to He, of course, rejects such accusations. Medvedchuk’s lawyer said that this client was forced to relocate the site due to threats from nationalist groups and informed authorities.

The luxury yacht Royal Romance is a frequent guest of the Rijeka Port, and it can accommodate 14 guests and is cared for by 22 crew members.

The yacht is 93 metres long, 14.3 metres wide, is designed to accommodate 14 guests in seven luxury cabins, and is cared for by as many as 22 crew members. The vessel has a maximum speed of 15 knots, has a draft of 3.85 metres, and the luxury facilities it boasts include teak decks, a gym, elevators connecting a total of five decks and a 12-metre pool with a waterfall on the upper deck.

It is a vessel that is on the list of the 100 best yachts in the world of all time and was built in the Dutch shipyard Feadship, which specialises in the construction of luxury vessels. It is powered by two 3,000-horsepower diesel engines. The yacht is reportedly used exclusively for private purposes and is not so easily rented out unless you’re close to the owner or his wealthy elite circle.

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