Taras Ostapchuk was arrested for partially sinking a $7.7 million yacht belonging to his boss, Russian businessman Alexander Mijeev. The yacht was named Lady Anastasia. The employee says he tried to sink the ship because he discovered Mijeev was selling guns to Vladimir Putin. The employee was later arrested by Spanish police.
According to reports, the sinking happened on Saturday at Port Adriano on the island of Mallorca, Spain. Taras Ostapchuk was arrested that afternoon and later released. Ostapchuk claimed responsibility for the partially sunken ship. It is unclear if he will face charges. He is currently on his way back to Ukraine to fight for his country, according to the Majorca Daily Bulletin.
After his arrest, the 55-year-old made a pledge to join the Ukrainian army and said, “I’ve lost the first battle, which was to sink my Russian boss’s ship, but I will win the next one. 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. I told myself: ‘Why do I need a job if I have my country. I had a good job as a head mechanic on the boat and a good salary, but I am going to fight for my nation.”
In court, the Ukrainian engineer, who had worked on the Lady Anastasia for 10 years, said that he didn’t regret his decision to sink the superyacht and would gladly do it again. According to Ostapchuk, he decided to destroy the Russian boat after seeing a news report about bombings in Ukraine.
“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,” said the Ukrainian sailor.
According to police reports, Ostapchuk allegedly sunk the ship by opening one valve in the yacht’s engine room. He then opened another valve in the crew’s quarters and told three crew members to jump ship. The crew members didn’t know anything about Ostapchuk’s plan, and he told them that he would take all the blame for Lady Anastasia sinking.
The Ukranian sailor also shut down the electricity and fuel valves on the Lady Anastasia so it wouldn’t pollute the water.
While the engine room was flooded, the 156 ft. yacht only partially sunk because it was still connected to its moorings. When police arrived at the yacht, Ostapchuk said, “My boss is a criminal who sells weapons that kill the Ukrainian people.”
Taras Ostapchuk claimed that Alexander Mijeev was making weapons for Russia through his company, Rostec, which is a state-owned Russian weapons supplier. Mijeev became head of the company in 2016 after leaving his previous position as head of the Russian Helicopter Corporation.
Alexander Mijeev has not commented on the incident.
Since Russia decided to attack the Ukraine, many citizens have decided to join the fight and defend their country. Most recently, a former Miss Ukraine, Anastasia Lenna, decided to fight. The beauty queen posted photos of herself carrying weapons and dressed in military garb.
On her Instagram she said, “Everyone who crosses the Ukrainian border with the intent to invade will be killed!” She also posts about how to donate to Ukraine and the strong leadership of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
While the war with Russia still continues, the Ukraine is seeking to quickly join the EU. Zelenskyy posted a photo of himself signing the EU application. He recently met with Putin on the border of Ukraine and Belarus for some peace talks, which reportedly did not go well. A source close to the Ukrainian president said that the talks were about a potential cease-fire.