Russian oligarchs worldwide have gotten some bad news recently as their megayachts are being seized all over the globe. However, the New York Post recently reported that one of the biggest ones is still floating out there ready to be taken. Insiders told the newspaper, “Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s $500 million megayacht is the prize piece of hardware the international community wants to seize from the oligarchs.”
A confidant of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin and current Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Abramovich made billions of dollars from taking over Russian state-owned companies at prices far below market value after the fall of the Soviet Union. He is currently considered one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Owner of the famous soccer team the Chelsea Football Club, Abramovich’s megayacht, The Eclipse, is the second-largest yacht in the world, and carries such astounding pieces of equipment that it has been suspected that the yacht actually belongs to Vladimir Putin. In the UK, The Guardian offered some details about the ship:
“Measuring 557ft long, it boasts two swimming pools, two helipads and an onboard missile defence system. And, just in case any missiles do get through, it comes complete with an escape pod: its own submarine. Its most curious feature, however, defends it against an altogether more insidious weapon: the prying eyes of the paparazzi.
The boat’s anti-paparazzi system, described in several reports as a “laser shield”, is a little less science fiction than it sounds. The lasers – beams of infrared light – are used to detect the electronic light sensors that digital cameras use instead of film. The camera is then targeted with a focused beam of bright light that disrupts the potential photo, making any shots unusable. It’s not so much a space-age Star Wars laser shield, then, as a big budget version of shining a torch in someone’s face.”
Although Abramovich has yet to be targeted, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to target civilians and threaten an even larger scale war in Europe, international leaders may be keen to take a closer look at why someone has a missile system on their party boat.