Engineer who attempted to sink Russian superyacht speaks out from Ukrainian bunker
The Ukrainian nautical engineer who attempted to sink Lady Anastasia – the yacht reputedly belonging to Alexander Mijeev (CEO of Rosoboronexport, a Russian military weapons company) – has taken up arms and is fighting for his homeland in Ukraine. And, he’s calling for others who work for oligarchs to follow his lead in exposing Russian assets.
“I think what I did is absolutely 100% correct,” says Taras Ostapchuk. “I tried to sink the boat as a political protest of Russian aggression because its owner is connected to the production of Russian weapons. They should be held responsible because it is they who with their behaviour, with their lifestyle, with their unquenchable greed, they precisely led to this, in order to distract the people of the real plunder of Russia by its rulers. They arrange diversionary wars with other countries that are innocent.”
Ostapchuk says others working for oligarchs around the world should expose their bosses and their assets to make the profiteers of Putin’s regime pay for what they are doing.
After serving for ten years on the Anastasia, the engineer was spurred into action in late February while the yacht was docked in Spain.
Ostapchuk told CNN that the yacht’s owner Mijeev is the sole user of the yacht, and knowing his background (munitions), Ostapchuk was spurred to action when saw new reports of a Russian military strike on an apartment block in his home town of Kyiv.
“You have to choose, will there be a Ukraine, or will you have a job? I made a choice,” Ostapchuk says.
“Water began to fill up the engine room and the crew space, after that there were three crew members left on board. I announced the boat was sinking and they should leave the ship. I did this on my own,” he says.
But, the other crew members – also Ukrainian – didn’t want to risk their jobs. They sounded the alarm and called the Spanish authorities.
The yacht is damaged, but stable. Spain’s ministry of transport has agreed to the provisional detention of the yacht while it confirms its real ownership and determines if it can be seized.
He also pleads for assistance.
“Help us please. Send guns to Ukraine.”
The Majorca Daily Bulletin previously reported Ostapchuk’s intentions. “I said to myself: why do I need a job if I don’t have my country? It’s true that I had a good job as chief mechanic on the yacht and a good salary, but I’m going to fight for my country. I’ve lost my job, but that’s not a problem. I will not lose my country. I am not a hero, I am an old man, but I have a lot of experience in mechanics. I have never picked up a gun, but if necessary I will. Why not?”