A Ukrainian sailor flooded a $7.7 million luxury yacht belonging to his Russian boss last week because he believed the Russian was selling weapons to President Vladimir Putin.
Alexander Mijeev, CEO of a Russian military weapons company Rosoboronexport, owned the massive yacht named Lady Anastasia. Taras Ostapchuk, a Ukrainian sailor who worked as a mechanic on the 156-foot luxury yacht for nearly a decade, attempted to sink Lady Anastasia in Spain by flooding its engine room, according to Majorca Daily Bulletin.
“I don’t regret anything I’ve done and I would do it again,” Ostapchuk said in court on Sunday.
The New York Post reported that Ostapchuk opened one valve in the engine room and another in crew lodging. He also shut electricity down and closed fuel valves before reportedly warning three other Ukrainian workers to jump ship.
“I watched the news about the war. There was a video of a helicopter attack on a building in Kyiv,” Ostapchuk told a judge after his arrest. “The armaments used are produced by the yacht owner’s company. They were attacking innocents.”
The Ukrainian mechanic was released on charges, the Post reported.
“I’ve lost the first battle, which was to sink my Russian boss’s ship but I will win the next one,” Ostapchuk later said.
He also vowed to return to his country to fight the Russian invasion.
“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,” he said. “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.”
“I am not going to lose my country. I am not a hero, I’m a middle-aged man, but I have a lot of experience as a mechanic,” he continued. “I’ve never held a weapon but if necessary I will. Why not!”
On Thursday, in response to Russian Vladimir Putin’s attacks on Ukraine, President Volodimir Zelenskyy tweeted that Ukraine will “give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country,” adding that citizens should “be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”
“We’re staying home. We don’t want to leave,” said Andrew, 24, who did not want to disclose his full name due to security risks.
“I can’t leave now because last update (was that) was that guys from 18 to 68 … cannot leave borders of Ukraine,” he continued, noting Zelenskyy’s declaration banning men aged 18-60 from leaving Ukraine. “We will stay here till Russians go home because it’s important to us to stay in our homes. We will stay with our government.”