Saturday, October 20, 2018

20 Oligarch Yachts Cost More than All Russian Navy Ships Built in Last Decade, Military Journal Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 19 – For geographic and historical reasons, the Russian navy has never been the priority that its army has; but Voyennoye obozreniye underlines this, noting that just 20 of the yachts owned by Russian oligarchs cost more than all the ships Moscow has built for the Russian navy over the last ten years.

            Indeed, the Moscow military journal says with obvious anger and disgust, the price tag of just one of these yachts exceeds the cost of modernizing Russia’s atomic-powered cruiser, the Admiral Nakhimov (

                The article which draws on Western and Russian sources to paint a picture of these expensive playthings of the country’s super rich is significant in at least three ways: First, it highlights the way in which Putin for all his bluster about national defense has deferred to the oligarchs rather than focused on building the Russian navy.

            Second, it underscores for a Russian audience just how great income inequality in that country is and how it is affecting not only the private sphere but the public sphere as well. And third, and most important, it suggests, given its source, that there is mounting anger among the Russian military at this situation, a fault line in the Russian elite that is likely to widen. 

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