Filed Under: Business

From private jets to super yachts: The hunt for 5 Russian oligarch ‘toys’

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There’s a saying making the rounds these days in Russian oligarch sanction news: “Freezing is easy, seizing is hard.” The U.S., E.U. and U.K. have all levied sanctions against some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest and richest allies over the Ukraine invasion.

“We’re joining with our European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets. We’re coming for you,” President Joe Biden said during the State of the Union address.

But with ownership often well concealed, plenty of real estate loopholes and Russian assets on the run, getting a hold of them is a challenge. Check out the oligarch toys authorities are trying to snatch in this week’s Five For Friday.

Secrets d’Histoire Officiel

#5: Château de la Croë

Located in Antibes, France, this less-than-modest home owned by Roman Abramovich is one of many items the West is threatening to seize. But the Russian billionaire’s U.S. properties seem safe for now. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Biden to hold off on sanctioning the oligarch so he could try to sway Putin in possible peace talks.

By Feliz Wikimedia Commons

#4: Sailing Yacht A

Propert of Russian coal magnate Andrey Melnichenko, the SuperYachtFan website reports the vessel features an underwater observation area and has a value of more than $500 million. At about 468 feet long, the mega yacht isn’t the easiest toy to hide, which explains why Italian authorities so easily found and seized it earlier this month.

Roland Nussbaumer Wikimedia Commons

#3: $600 million Airbus jet

This Airbus A340 is named Bourkhan after owner Alisher Usmanov’s father. The $600 million wide body is hard to stash, especially given the tracking capabilities of some enterprising sleuths on social media. It was last seen landing in Uzbekistan’s capital. Ironically, Usmanov hit Twitter a few years back bragging about being able to buy these toys, including this plane and his super yacht. Now that yacht is stuck in Germany over sanctions.

Getty Images

#2: Miami Beach condos

This Miami Beach condo on Fisher Island is owned by Aras Agalarov, often called the “Trump of Russia” for his real estate practices. Located in the U.S.’s wealthiest zip code, the island is only accessible by boat, ferry or helicopter. Agalarov is likely hoping he has more protection than his neighbors out of state, as Florida’s homestead exemption makes it harder for the government to confiscate property.

Shutterstock / motive56

#1: Boeing Dreamliner

Has anyone seen this 787-8 Dreamliner, another toy of one of the most famous of Russian oligarchs, Abramovich? It’s so rare for a private citizen to own a Dreamliner, at 187 feet long and 18 feet wide! Abramavich poured over $100 million into this jet just in upgrades for his liking. It’s been spotted taking off and landing between Moscow and Dubai, a haven for oligarchs in the face of Western sanctions.

President Biden: We’re joining with our European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets…we’re coming for you.

SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: THERE’S A SAYING MAKING THE ROUNDS THESE DAYS IN RUSSIAN OLIGARCH SANCTION NEWS: “FREEZING IS EASY, SEIZING IS HARD.” WITH OWNERSHIP OFTEN WELL CONCEALED, PLENTY OF REAL ESTATE LOOPHOLES, AND RUSSIAN ASSETS ON THE RUN, IT’S A CHALLENGE.  CHECK OUT THESE OLIGARCH TOYS AUTHORITIES ARE TRYING TO SNATCH IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.

AT NUMBER FIVE – THE CHÂTEAU DE LA CROË.  LOCATED IN ANTIBES, FRANCE, THIS UM, MODEST HOME OWNED BY ROMAN ABRAMOVICH IS ONE OF MANY ITEMS THE WEST IS THREATENING TO SEIZE. BUT THE RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE’S U.S. PROPERTIES SEEM SAFE FOR NOW, ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ZELENSKYY ASKED BIDEN TO HOLD OFF ON SANCTIONING THE OLIGARCH SO HE COULD TRY TO SWAY PUTIN IN POSSIBLE PEACE TALKS.

IN THE FOURTH SPOT, SAILING YACHT A. PROPERTY OF RUSSIAN COAL MAGNATE ANDREY MELNICHENKO, THE SUPER-YACHT-FAN WEBSITE REPORTS THE VESSEL FEATURES AN UNDERWATER OBSERVATION AREA AND HAS A VALUE OF MORE THAN $500 MILLION.  AT ABOUT 468 FEET LONG, THE MEGA YACHT ISN’T THE EASIEST TOY TO HIDE WHICH EXPLAINS WHY ITALIAN AUTHORITIES SO EASILY FOUND AND SEIZED IT EARLIER THIS MONTH.

COMING IN AT NUMBER 3, THIS AIRBUS A-340 IS NAMED BOURKHAN, AFTER OWNER ALISHER USMANOV’S FATHER.  THE 600 MILLION DOLLAR WIDE BODY IS HARD TO STASH, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE TRACKING CAPABILITIES OF SOME ENTERPRISING SLEUTHS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. IT WAS LAST SEEN LANDING IN UZBEKISTAN’S CAPITAL. IRONICALLY, USMANOV HIT TWITTER A FEW YEARS BACK BRAGGING ABOUT BEING ABLE TO BUY THESE TOYS, HIS PLANE AND HIS BOAT. THAT SUPERYACHT BY THE WAY? IT’S NOW STUCK IN GERMANY OVER SANCTIONS.

AT NUMBER TWO, THIS MIAMI BEACH MANSION ON FISHER ISLAND OWNED BY ARAS AGALAROV, OFTEN CALLED “THE TRUMP OF RUSSIA” FOR HIS REAL ESTATE PRACTICES. LOCATED IN THE USA’S WEALTHIEST ZIP CODE, THE ISLAND IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE BY BOAT, FERRY OR HELICOPTER. COULD BE AGALAROV IS HOPING HE HAS MORE PROTECTION THAN HIS NEIGHBORS OUT OF STATE. FLORIDA’S HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION MAKES IT HARDER FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO CONFISCATE PROPERTY.

AND IN OUR TOP SPOT, HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS DREAMLINER, OWNED  BY – AGAIN – ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS, ROMAN ABRAMOVICH? IT’S SO RARE FOR A PRIVATE CITIZEN TO OWN A DREAMLINER, AT 187 FEET LONG AND 18 FEET WIDE! THIS PRIVATE JET’S BEEN SPOTTED TAKING OFF AND LANDING BETWEEN MOSCOW AND DUBAI, A HAVEN FOR OLIGARCHS IN THE FACE OF WESTERN SANCTIONS.

WHATEVER WILL THESE RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRES DO WITHOUT THEIR TOYS? SOME MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WANT TO SELL THEM ALL TO HELP PAY TO REBUILD UKRAINE. THAT’S YOUR FIVE FOR FRIDAY I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO FOR JUST BUSINESS. SEE YOU MONDAY.

There’s a saying making the rounds these days in Russian oligarch sanction news: “Freezing is easy, seizing is hard.” The U.S., E.U. and U.K. have all levied sanctions against some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest and richest allies over the Ukraine invasion.

“We’re joining with our European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets. We’re coming for you,” President Joe Biden said during the State of the Union address.

But with ownership often well concealed, plenty of real estate loopholes and Russian assets on the run, getting a hold of them is a challenge. Check out the oligarch toys authorities are trying to snatch in this week’s Five For Friday.

Secrets d’Histoire Officiel

#5: Château de la Croë

Located in Antibes, France, this less-than-modest home owned by Roman Abramovich is one of many items the West is threatening to seize. But the Russian billionaire’s U.S. properties seem safe for now. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Biden to hold off on sanctioning the oligarch so he could try to sway Putin in possible peace talks.

By Feliz Wikimedia Commons

#4: Sailing Yacht A

Propert of Russian coal magnate Andrey Melnichenko, the SuperYachtFan website reports the vessel features an underwater observation area and has a value of more than $500 million. At about 468 feet long, the mega yacht isn’t the easiest toy to hide, which explains why Italian authorities so easily found and seized it earlier this month.

Roland Nussbaumer Wikimedia Commons

#3: $600 million Airbus jet

This Airbus A340 is named Bourkhan after owner Alisher Usmanov’s father. The $600 million wide body is hard to stash, especially given the tracking capabilities of some enterprising sleuths on social media. It was last seen landing in Uzbekistan’s capital. Ironically, Usmanov hit Twitter a few years back bragging about being able to buy these toys, including this plane and his super yacht. Now that yacht is stuck in Germany over sanctions.

Getty Images

#2: Miami Beach condos

This Miami Beach condo on Fisher Island is owned by Aras Agalarov, often called the “Trump of Russia” for his real estate practices. Located in the U.S.’s wealthiest zip code, the island is only accessible by boat, ferry or helicopter. Agalarov is likely hoping he has more protection than his neighbors out of state, as Florida’s homestead exemption makes it harder for the government to confiscate property.

Shutterstock / motive56

#1: Boeing Dreamliner

Has anyone seen this 787-8 Dreamliner, another toy of one of the most famous of Russian oligarchs, Abramovich? It’s so rare for a private citizen to own a Dreamliner, at 187 feet long and 18 feet wide! Abramavich poured over $100 million into this jet just in upgrades for his liking. It’s been spotted taking off and landing between Moscow and Dubai, a haven for oligarchs in the face of Western sanctions.

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