- Funds for the Scheherazade were a Christmas gift to Putin from Russian oligarchs, per Dossier Center.
- The $ 700 million superyacht is said to have been used by his lover Alina Kabaeva, per the report.
- The vessel features two helipads as well as a swimming pool, cinema and beauty salon.
The hundreds of millions needed to build a superyacht linked with Vladimir Putin were given by oligarchs to the Russian president as a Christmas gift in 2014, a Russian opposition website has claimed.
Dossier Center, which "tracks the criminal activity of various people associated with the Kremlin", said a group of Russian business figures led by Gennady Timchenko collected the €583 million needed to construct the 459ft Scheherazade. It was built in a German shipyard and launched in July 2019.
The Dossier Center is connected with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a key Russian opposition figure and founder of the Open Russia movement.
The superyacht, thought to be worth $ 700 million, was seized by Italian authorities in May after their investigation found significant connections between it and the Russian government. It had been undergoing repairs since June 2020 in the Italian port of Marina di Carrara.
Timchenko and his family were sanctioned by the US government as part of sanctions imposed on Russia by the West following Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
The Dossier Center report does not fully identify the other oligarchs involved, but it said that one of the offshore companies, High Definition – which donated $ 60 million – can be linked to Ziyavudin Magomedov. He was arrested in Russia in 2018 and charged with racketeering in a corruption scandal and remains in jail.
Other major donors include Alera Assets, which the Center said gave $ 226 million, and Diams Overseas, which contributed $ 289 million. Insider has not been able to verify the figures cited by Dossier Center.
The Scheherazade is believed to have been used by Alina Kabaeva, said to be Putin's lover, according to a source who spoke to Dossier Centre. Kabaeva was only sanctioned by the US in August.
The vessel's existence was revealed in March after the British captain spoke to The Times newspaper. The crew members were mostly members of the Russian secret service.
The yacht's true ownership has been hard to determine, as Insider has reported. It is controlled by the former president of Rosneft, Eduard Khudainatov, according to Dossier Center.
The "Scheherazade" has six decks and can accommodate 18 guests along with a crew of 40. Its features include a helicopter landing pad, large swimming pool, cinema, and a system to crash drones, according to Superyacht Fan.