Young Ukrainian Protesters Try to Block Abramovich Yacht Docking in Turkey

A group of Ukrainian protesters on a motor boat, most of them children, tried to block Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s 456-foot superyacht Solaris from docking at the Turkish port city of Bodrum on Monday, March 21, according to local media.

The Solaris yacht, valued at $600 million, according to the website SuperYachtFan, was successfully docked after the activists were detained by authorities, the Turkish newspaper Sozcu reported.

A video of the blockade, which took place next to the Mantarburnu pier in Bodrum, shows the protest group waving Ukrainian flags emblazoned with the words “No War” from a comparatively tiny boat placed in front of Abramovich’s towering superyacht.

The footage was posted by Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Madonich, a native of Odesa region and the coach of the Ukrainian youth sailing team that Turkish media said was involved in the protest.

Madonich confirmed on Facebook that 11 members of Optimist Sailing Team Ukraine had staged the protest, and said it lasted 15 minutes before police intervened and detained the group. He added, however, that the police officers were “kind and understanding” and had quickly released all members of the team. He later told Storyful the team had been “well received” in Turkey

Seven of the protesters were children, aged between 9 and 14, and three were adults, Madonich said.

A few hours after the protest, Madonich posted photos on Facebook showing the team enjoying snacks and tea around a table. Madonich said one of the photos was taken by a police officer, and said coast guard officers had joined the group at the table for cups of tea.

There was no indication that Abramovich was on the yacht as it arrived in Bodrum, according to Reuters.

Abramovich, who owns English football club Chelsea FC, was sanctioned by the UK and European Union earlier in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the Putin-linked oligarch had faced the threat of his assets being seized by UK or EU authorities.

His superyacht, Solaris, was built in 2021 by the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany and its exterior was designed by Marc Newson, an Australian-born designer based in London, according to information provided by the websites Superyacht Times and YachtCharterFleet.com.

The yacht can cater to up to 36 guests and contains “premium beauty and wellness amenities, including beach club and sauna,” along with a “generous pool,” according to YachtCharterFleet.com. Credit: Slava Madonich via Storyful

Video transcript

{"iserror":true,"errors":{"file_processing":"The resource you selected is not complete"}}

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting