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Seized Superyacht Royal Romance to Be Auctioned to Support Ukraine’s Defense Against Russia

Superyacht Royal Romance
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The Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) of Ukraine has officially selected Troostwijk Auctions to handle the auction of the seized 92.5-meter Feadship superyacht, Royal Romance. The announcement marks a significant step in Ukraine’s efforts to leverage seized assets to bolster its defense capabilities amidst ongoing conflicts with Russia. The superyacht was previously owned by the Ukraine pro-Kremlin oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk.

Ukraine oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk

Royal Romance, previously owned by Viktor Medvedchuk—a Ukrainian lawyer, business oligarch, and reputed pro-Kremlin figure with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin—was seized in Croatia in 2022. Following a technical inspection and legal proceedings, a Croatian court transferred ownership of the yacht to Ukraine in January 2024.

Viktor Medvedchuk: On February 19, 2021, he was sanctioned by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine alongside his wife, Oksana Marchenko, for allegedly financing terrorism. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General accused him of treason and attempting to loot national resources in Crimea. Following these charges, Medvedchuk was placed under house arrest on May 13, 2021. He has been living in Russia since September 2022 after being handed over to Russia in a prisoner exchange.

This decision came after thorough assessments of the yacht’s buoyancy and engine operation, overseen by the Croatian police and port authorities to ensure the legality of the transfer. ARMA head Olena Duma confirmed that the yacht would be handed over to Ukraine “as soon as possible.”

Troostwijk Auctions, a Netherlands-based auction house, emerged as the winning bidder to facilitate the sale of this luxurious vessel after a competitive selection process that was live-streamed by ARMA. The yacht, currently moored at the Adria Docks shipyard in Trogir, Croatia, features an array of opulent, including a swimming pool, cinema, gym, sauna, spa, and a cosmetology treatment room. It can accommodate up to 14 guests across seven staterooms, including a lavish owner’s deck with private facilities.

The auction of Royal Romance is not just a sale of a high-value asset; it carries significant symbolic weight. According to Olena Duma, the auction represents a “political blow to Putin’s regime” and positions the buyer as part of a historic stand against tyranny. She emphasized that the proceeds from the auction will directly support Ukraine’s defense efforts, transforming the acquisition of this superyacht into a direct contribution to Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty.

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