A Ukrainian sailor who tried to sink a Russian Oligarch’s €7 million luxury yacht was arrested then released and is apparently now en-route to fight for his homeland against the Russian invasion, which began in the early hours of Thursday 24th February.
Taras Ostapchuk, 55, who had been working on the yacht as the chief engineer for the last ten years, allegedly tried to sink the 156-foot Lady Anastasia, by flooding its engine room.
The yacht, owned by Alexander Mijeev, the CEO of a leading Russian arms export company called Rosoboronexport, was moored in Port Adriano on the Balearic island of Mallorca – a popular holiday spot for Russians and Westerners alike.
According to local media reports, Ostapchuk tried to shut down the electricity and then closed the fuel valves, before asking three other Ukrainian crew members to leave the ship but who reported him to the Spanish Civil Guard.
It was reported that he became enraged watching TV images of missiles hitting residential an apartment block, and which he believed that had been supplied by Mijeev´s company.
He told said: ‘I watched the news about the war. There was a video of a helicopter attack on a building in Kyiv. The armaments used are produced by the yacht owner’s company. They were attacking innocents
When the Civil Guard officers arrived he told them: “ The owner of this yacht is a criminal who makes a living selling weapons and which now kill Ukrainians,” saying that he was motivated aafter watching the news reports from the war-zone:“ I watched the news about the war. There was a video of a helicopter attack on a building in Kyiv. The armaments used are produced by the yacht owner’s company. They were attacking innocents”
He was arrested and appeared in court on Sunday but the judge released him on charges. He claims he had no intention of causing harm to life but that he didn’t regret his actions, saying he ‘would do it again’.
Ostapchuk said on his release that: “ I’m going to fight. As soon as I reach the first Ukrainian city I will look for a military commander and ask him if they need me.”
His current whereabouts is unclear.