Taras Ostapchuk: Ukrainian sailor ALMOST SANK Russian weapons-maker boss's $7M yacht

Taras Ostapchuk: Ukrainian sailor ALMOST SANK Russian weapons-maker boss's $7M yacht
Taras Ostapchuk (left) and Lady Anastasia (right), which belongs to Mijeev (inset right) (Twitter)

Ukrainian sailor and mechanical engineer Taras Ostapchuk, 55, is earning fame amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine after he tried to sink a £5million-plus (more than $6.7 million) yacht owned by his Russian weapons-maker boss.

According to DailyMail, the 156ft luxury yacht, named Lady Anastasia, was moored at Port Adriano by Alexander Mijeev, a former head of the Russian Helicopter Corporation, who took over state-owned weapons supplier Rostec six years ago. 

Ostapchuk opened up valves on the vessel in his plan to sink the vehicle over the weekend, claiming his boss sells weapons to Vladimir Putin.  As a patriotic Ukranian, he was not okay with those weapons being used to murder and maim his own countrymen. When the police turned up to arrest him, he stated: "I don't regret anything I've done and I would do it again," before adding, "My boss is a criminal who sells weapons that kill the Ukrainian people."


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Alexander Mijeev, Taras Ostapchuk's boss (Twitter)

Ostapchuk explained the series of events that led up to his decision. He revealed that he had been very disturbed and upset after seeing a helicopter carrying weapons -- that he believes were made by Mijeev's firm, attacking an apartment block in Kyiv. He also added that the apartment block was one similar to where his family lives. It was this particular sight that made him decide to try and sink the ship. Ostapchuk, who had seen the incident in a Spanish news channel, said, "I live in a very similar building. From my window, I can see the Ukrainian parliament. I was wondering what's had happened to my house when I saw the footage because it's in a very similar position."

"I've lost the first battle, which was to sink my Russian boss's ship but I will win the next one," he added. 

After being released by a court in Majorca, Ostapchuk told local newspaper Ultima Hora that he plans to take a flight to Poland and then take a bus or train to the Ukrainian capital. "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. 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. I've never held a weapon but if necessary I will. Why not," Ostapchuk told the news outlet. 

 He also revealed that he had not told his crewmates about his plan but rushed in last-minute asking them to abandon the ship and assuring them that he would take all the blame for the incident. The yacht submerged partially but was still tied to its moorings.

It is not yet clear whether the saboteur has been charged with any offenses by the Majorca judge where he was taken after his arrest. 

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