Putin’s Oligarchs Are Finally Facing a Reckoning

An Italian Finance Police car is parked in front of the yacht “Lady M,” owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, docked at Imperia’s harbor, Italy, March 5, 2022 (AP photo by Antonio Calanni).
An Italian Finance Police car is parked in front of the yacht “Lady M,” owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, docked at Imperia’s harbor, Italy, March 5, 2022 (AP photo by Antonio Calanni).

For all the many awful things about Russia’s war in Ukraine, there is at least one entertaining and valuable outcome: the online spectator sport of tracking the luxury boats owned by Kremlin-connected oligarchs. Known as “klepto bingo,” “yacht bingo,” #YachtWatch or “yacht justice,” it might seem like a frivolous or even cavalier pastime for untold numbers of people all over the world. But it is actually scratching a big itch for long-time Russia watchers. In the six weeks since Russia invaded its neighbor, justice and finance ministries in a dozen countries have levied sanctions against Russia’s wealthiest elites. And to date, authorities […]

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