A Ukrainian sailor has reportedly admitted to trying to sink a luxury yacht he worked on that was owned by the head of a Russian state arms exporter in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 157-foot Lady Anastasia, which belongs to Rosoboronexport director general Alexander Mikheev, was docked in Majorca, Spain, over the weekend when the sailor, who worked on the boat as a mechanic, opened the engine room’s valves in an attempt to sink it, the BBC and local news outlets reported.
“My boss is a criminal who sells weapons that kill the Ukrainian people,” the sailor, identified as 55-year-old Taras Ostapchuk, told officers on Saturday as he turned himself in, according to the Majorca Daily Bulletin.
He stood by his actions the following day in court, saying: “I don’t regret anything I’ve done and I would do it again.”
The man told the court he had worked on the vessel as a mechanic for about 10 years and decided to scuttle it after seeing video of a Russian military cruise missile hitting a building in Kyiv during Russia’s invasion.
A high-rise apartment building near Kyiv’s Zhuliany airport was struck by a missile on Saturday. The assault left at least six civilians injured, a rescue worker told The Associated Press.
The man said he believed that the missile was produced by Mikheev’s company and so opened the valves, flooding and severely damaging the engine room, according to the Daily Bulletin. Prior to becoming CEO of Rosoboronexport, Mikheev was general director of Russian Helicopters, which is Russia’s largest rotorcraft manufacturer.
The sailor was released by the court and said he planned to return to Ukraine to help the war efforts, the Daily Bulletin reported, citing an interview he gave with local Spanish news outlet Ultima Hora.
Lady Anastasia was featured by Yacht Harbour in 2019 as having a listing price of 7 million euros. It’s listed as having been built in 2001.