U.K. Government Seizes Russian Oligarch’s Swanky Private Jet


The U.K. government has forcibly grounded a private jet connected to Russian oligarch Eugene Shvidler amid the push to economically hold the Russian regime accountable for atrocities in Ukraine, where the Russian military has invaded and has been inflicting devastation on civilians. As summarized by POLITICO on Wednesday: ‘[Last] Friday, a private jet connected to Russian billionaire Eugene Shvidler… landed at Farnborough airport. Ownership of the jet was not immediately apparent — it is often obscured by shell companies and registrations in third countries — so it wasn’t clear if the government had the ability to detain the aircraft under rules banning Russian residents’ jets from flying over Britain. [U.K. transportation secretary Grant] Shapps was however able to issue a “Restriction of Flying Order” that applied to this specific type of jet, in order to prevent it from leaving while officials investigated whether it met the rules.’

“[Complications] have arisen because of challenges determining Shvidler’s residency and determining the true owner of the jet, a government insider said,” also according to POLITICO. Shvidler has been reported to have a net worth of some $1.7 billion. A spokesperson for the U.K. transportation department — known there as the Department of Transport — said that the “UK government has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to prevent a flight which is in dispute from taking off from Farnborough Airport… It will remain at the airport whilst we investigate further whether it falls under the recent legislation banning all Russian-linked aircraft.”

As previously reported on this site, Shvidler definitely isn’t the only Russian oligarch to recently face asset seizure — the French government seized a 280-foot yacht from the possession of Russian oligarch Igor Sechin after he was included in a list of individuals sanctioned by the European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “French authorities said the fact that the yacht was trying to leave French territorial waters prompted the seizure,” The Wall Street Journal said. In the U.S., a task force has been formed at the Justice Department to work on the enforcement of economic counter-measures against Russian interests tied to the war in Ukraine, and it’s been made clear that asset seizures and prosecutions have been left on the metaphorical table by the federal officials behind this effort. Russia has become the most-sanctioned country on the planet, even surpassing North Korea, and the measures that have been taken are having an impact — the value of Russian currency has plummeted, and the credit ratings agency known as Fitch Ratings recently indicated that they apparently believed a Russian government default to be “imminent.”