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Putin’s lavish superyacht has a ‘wine cave’ on board

The Russian leader has managed to keep his US$119 million superyacht hidden since sanctions began, but it has now resurfaced under a new name. And with an impressive drinking den to boot.

Vladimir Putin has succeeded in keeping his luxury superyacht under wraps for months while Russian oligarchs have had their vessels seized. However, the 270ft vessel has allegedly reappeared off the coast of Estonia under a new name.

Previously called ‘Graceful’, Putin’s yacht is now rumoured to sail under the name ‘Killer Whale’ ( or ‘Kosatka’ in Russian).

According to reports, the boat has been moored in Kalingrad with its AIS turned off to avoid detection, following a period of refitting at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. The Killer Whale is now making its way north in the Baltic Sea, accompanied by a Russian coastguard, says the Daily Mail. It is believed that the yacht may be heading for St. Petersburg.

No expense has been spared in the kitting out of Putin’s megayacht, which boasts a spacious salon with white Steinway piano, a library, a gym, complete with spa, and a swimming pool that converts into a dance floor.

Also said to be on board is a 400-bottle ‘wine cave’ from which Putin can select his favourite drops for entertaining up to 12 guests allowed on board. A crew made up of 14 staff is also accommodated on the boat. Pool towel cabinets that double up as vodka bars have also been touted as one of the features on board, though Putin is thought to eschew alcohol himself.

The Killer Whale is not Putin’s largest vessel. The biggest superyacht in the Russian president’s total fleet, worth US$680 million, is named Scheherazade and was seized by Italian authorities earlier this year following economic sanctions imposed on Russian billionaires, whose capital is thought to be financing the war with Ukraine.

While The Killer Whale has managed to avoid the same fate as its fleet member, it has not escaped the wrath of hackers who changed the vessel’s call sign of UBGV8 to ‘FCKPTN’.

Hackers also infiltrated the watercraft’s AIS (Automatic Indentification System’ to amend its destination to ‘hell’.

The war with Ukraine, which began with Russia’s invasion of the country on 24 February 2022, is now approaching its eighth month of combat.


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