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Unusual Summer on the French Riviera as Russian Superyachts Flee

  • Yachts tied to sanctioned tycoons hide out in sanctuary ports
  • US, EU are seizing vessels, planes and villas of Putin allies
Yachts are moored in the port of Cannes.

Yachts are moored in the port of Cannes.

Photographer: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

The French Riviera is looking slightly different this summer: the Russian superyachts that can usually be spotted gliding across its sparkling blue waters are nowhere to be seen.

Facing sanctions for their ties to President Vladimir Putin and support for his invasion of Ukraine, Russian tycoons are squirreling away their multimillion-dollar yachts in places where they are less likely to be seized by the US and other governments. Once in sanctuary, the vessels are staying put.