On Valentine’s Day 2018, instead of enjoying a romantic tête-à-tête, Russian oil and gas tycoon Farkhad Akhmedov was having his $436 million superyacht impounded in Dubai’s Port Rashid as part of his bitter divorce battle with ex-wife Tatiana. Luckily for the oligarch, last month the Dubai court of appeal ruled that he could have his boat back.

Farkhad and Tatiana’s split reached meteoric levels in 2016 when the tycoon was ordered by London’s High Court to hand over roughly 40 percent of his fortune to his former wife; after the oligarch failed to pay the costly divorce bill, the London court ordered a global freeze on the tycoon’s assets.

Dubai obliged— until now.

Akhmedov’s pride and joy Luna boasts everything from a mini-submarine to a helicopter landing pad to what was once the largest outdoor pool on any superyacht. Farkhad bought the opulent craft from his friend and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich in 2014—the same year that Tatiana filed for divorce in London, though her former husband claims that they were already divorced before they left Moscow.

Opulence galore onboard Luna

The oligarch once memorably quipped that he would rather watch the Luna rot under the Dubai sun than hand it over to Tatiana. The boat is undoubtedly worth fighting for, resembling more of a floating luxury villa than a yacht. All nine decks are kept in pristine condition by a crew of fifty, and a single one of Luna’s lifeboats costs $4 million. She seems to be customised specially for a “man anticipating trouble”, replete with a missile detection system, bulletproof windows and bomb-proof doors.

Even so, it seems no amount of hardware may be sufficient to protect her from Tatiana and her legal team—who have vowed to appeal in the Dubai courts.

The Luna is far from the only luxurious craft Russian oligarchs have splashed out major cash on—nor the only one to be embroiled in a marital dispute. Natural gas mogul Oleg Burlakov, who sensationally escaped an assassination attempt in Moscow last fall, snatched up the world’s largest sailing yacht, which he named the Black Pearl after the ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.

The Black Pearl is powered by solar energy, and boasts luxuries such as a beach club which can be converted into a cinema.

Oleg may not be able to enjoy his waterside cinema much longer, however—the oligarch is reportedly on the verge of divorcing his long-time wife and has been spotted dining and shopping at Moscow hotspots with a young girl, Sofiya Shevtsova. Under Russian law, Burlakov’s wife should be entitled to a substantial portion of the family fortune—but Shevtsova is reportedly trying her best to ensure that Oleg keeps the lion’s share of his riches, including the Black Pearl.

Who gets the yacht in the divorce?

Another one of Russia’s richest men, Vladimir Potanin, tussled over the family collection of Yachts during his own extremely expensive divorce with his long-time wife; the two fought over more than £10 billion worth of assets accumulated over the course of their marriage, with Natalia insisting on ownership of one of the family yachts as part of her settlement. Vladimir seemed set on keeping his purse strings tight, initially offering his ex a paltry sum.

Natalia argued she was entitled to much more from the richest man in Russia, given her former husband’s $15.4 billion fortune, not including untold wealth in offshore companies. "Natalia claims Potanin's real wealth is held in offshore companies, and she's launched an international legal battle to get hold of it," CNN reported, with Natalia pledging to give her claimed shares to the state: “I want such a big strategic object to be under the state control,” she said. While Natalia fought for her share of their joint riches, Potanin added a third yacht to his fleet.

Abramovich's "navy"

Potanin’s collection, however, has nothing on the veritable “navy” of stunning yachts which Abramovich has accumulated. Once the holder of the enviable, but apparently fickle, title of the “Richest Man in Russia”, Abramovich sits on a massive personal fortune. The tycoon is the majority shareholder of Evraz, Russia’s second-largest steelmaker, and also owns a stake in the largest producer of refined nickel worldwide, Norilsk Nickel.

He has also been married three times, with his second divorce being with Irina Malandina, his wife of 16 years. When the two were married in 1991, Abramovich had not yet amassed the bulk of his wealth; by the time of their separation, he was worth almost $19 billion. Malandina managed to walk away with a real prize: the Pelorus, the world’s 11th largest yacht at the time of her delivery in 2003.

Even when these opulent crafts don’t get dragged into divorce court, they can present legal troubles for their owners: take the case of Boris Berezovsky, for example, who defaulted on payments for one of his yachts amid a humiliating court battle with Abramovich. His vessel Darius suffered serious flood damage thanks to a leaking porthole while it was under construction in Germany—and that was only the beginning of Berezovsky’s problems. When the Russian oligarch failed to make contractual payments on the boat, he was forced to sell it to the Emirati Al Futtaim family for the bargain price of £200 million. The tycoon, whose body was discovered in his upscale English home in 2013 under suspicious circumstances, had a further two yachts seized by French authorities while he was being investigated for fraud, money laundering and other crimes.

These oligarchs may seem like they're living the high life with their luxury vessels, but their constant stream of legal troubles and romantic drama tarnishes their seemingly gilded existence.

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