The owner of the Mariupol steel plant obliterated by Russian shelling is considering selling his unfinished superyacht

  • Rinat Akhmetov owns the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol that was obliterated by Russian shelling.
  • The Ukrainian oligarch is now considering selling a 475-foot superyacht he ordered, his advisor told The NYT.
  • Akhmetov is Ukraine's richest person, with a fortune estimated at $7.3 billion.

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Rinat Akhmetov, the Ukrainian owner of the Mariupol steel plant that was obliterated by Russian shelling, is considering selling his unfinished superyacht, one of his advisers has said.

Akhmetov is awaiting delivery of a 475-foot yacht code-named Luminance, which is being built by luxury ship maker Lürssen in Germany, The New York Times reported.

Jock Mendoza-Wilson, director of international relations for Akhmetov's company System Capital Management, told The Times: "Given the current circumstances, we are considering its possible sale."

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Akhmetov has a net worth of $7.3 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index . His Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, was the focal point of a siege by Russian troops , which ended this week.

In late April, Akhmetov told Swiss newspaper Le Temps: "Mariupol has always been and will be a Ukrainian city. The Ukrainians are defending fiercely each and every inch of Ukrainian soil. I am proud that Azovstal is our stronghold of resistance."

Luminance's builder Lürssen also constructed the Scheherazade , a 459-foot vessel worth $700 million, which US officials have linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Luminance will be around 16 feet longer than Scheherazade, meaning its value could surpass $700 million.

A person who worked at a company helping to build Luminance told The Times that construction of the vessel carried on after Russia invaded Ukraine. Some of Akhmetov's family members had traveled within Europe to look over the building details of the yacht, the anonymous person told The Times.

Lürssen didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

The movements of Russian oligarchs' yachts have come to the fore since the Ukraine war began and the West imposed sanctions on individuals with links to Putin. The European Union and the US have seized or detained several yachts from sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

rinat akhmetov yacht

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Luxurylaunches -

Ukraine’s richest man is all set to take delivery of his ultra-luxurious $500 million megayacht. As long as three Olympic-sized swimming pools, the secretive ‘Project Luminance’ is spread across four decks, has two helipads, a large swimming pool and beach club.

rinat akhmetov yacht

What can one expect from the Luminance Yacht? One look at the Luminance yacht during its final sea trials reminds you of other great ships sailing out of the Lürssen stable, designed by Espen Oeino, like Nord , Flying Fox , and Dilbar. Longer than the 464-foot megayacht Nord , it is safe to presume that the latest megayacht will fall in the $500 million plus bracket. The video revealed a gigantic multi-deck boat with teak decks, a steel hull, and an aluminum superstructure.

rinat akhmetov yacht

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Rinat Akhmetov: the richest man in Ukraine sues Russia

Steel magnate says invasion has cost him billions and violated his property rights

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Rinat Akhmetov

Ukraine’s richest man is to sue Russia for billions of dollars in compensation, claiming the invasion by Vladimir Putin has violated his property rights.

Is the Ukraine war descending into a ‘frozen conflict’? How Ukraine and Russia are both breaking the law on prisoners of war ‘Putin’s henchmen’: should lawyers be barred from acting for oligarchs?

Reports suggest Rinat Akhmetov intends to file a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights against the Russian Federation for between $17bn and $20bn in losses after his steel plants in Mariupol were damaged and seized by Russian forces.

The billionaire entrepreneur has a complicated history with both the government in Kyiv and in Moscow and has been heavily involved in the Ukrainian war effort.

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Who is he and where does his money come from?

Born in 1966 and the son of a coal miner, Rinat Akhmetov began snapping up mining assets in the 1990s during the “wild west” privatisation period that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent Ukrainian independence.

Akhmetov is the founder of System Capital Management (SCM), which owns steel and grain facilities across Ukraine, and has an estimated net worth of $6.93bn according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index .

A native of Donetsk in the east of the country, which is currently largely under Russian occupation, Akhmetov is the owner and president of the city’s most successful football club, Shakhtar Donetsk, and served as a member of parliament from 2006–2007 and 2007–2012.

Why is he suing Russia?

As the majority owner of Metinvest, Ukraine’s largest steel producer, he owns the Azovstal plant, in the port city of Mariupol , which has seen some of the war’s most intense fighting and was finally seized by Russian forces last month, the Financial Times reported.

A statement released on the SCM website claimed the tycoon had lost billions of dollars as a result of Russia’s invasion, with Insider estimating his wealth has tumbled 40% since the war began more than four months ago.

“As the owner of Azovstal and many other industrial facilities that have been targeted by the invading Russian armed forces, Mr Akhmetov seeks to ensure that Russia is held accountable for the destruction it is wreaking across Ukraine” the statement said.

In parallel with the lawsuit application, he has also filed an urgent request for interim measures, seeking a court order preventing Russia from engaging in further blockading, looting, diversion and destruction of grain and steel produced by SCM’s companies.

While local media quoted by Insider put the lawsuit at between $17bn and $20bn, “the exact amount of compensation cannot yet be determined due to the ongoing war”, says the Kyiv Post , although “Russia is expected to pay billions of dollars to Akhmetov”.

How has he been involved in the war effort?

Akhmetov first said he would sue Russia for damages over lost SCM revenue back in March, but was at the time focused on helping Ukraine win the war . He claims his businesses have provided both material and technical support to the Ukrainian military.

Speaking to Forbes , he pledged to rebuild Mariupol and the rest of Ukraine after the war ends, adding that he would “spare no expense or effort to achieve this goal.”

Akhmetov, who had previously supported the pro-Moscow Party of the Regions of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, has not always had the best of relationships with the government in Kyiv.

In January Radio Free Europe reported “growing tensions between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Akhmetov over a host of issues, including energy prices, media coverage, and new restrictions on powerful businessmen”.

It followed a so-called “anti-oligarch” bill pushed through parliament last year that sought to force individuals designated as tycoons to sell their media assets or refrain from political activity.

While Ukraine’s oligarchs “played a vital role in propping up the country against Russian aggression , cementing their political influence and their financial interests” following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Financial Times said that this time they “are playing a more passive role in the nation’s defence – donating money and supplies like millions of their compatriots”.

The paper claimed some oligarchs, including Akhmetov, have “mounted a PR effort to earn recognition for their philanthropic efforts”.

The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation is Ukraine’s biggest private charity and since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 has provided humanitarian aid to help save 3.5 million people from the Donbas region , according to EU Reporter .

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