Ukrainian sailor, 55, who tried to sink his Russian boss's £5m yacht is pictured holding rifle


A Ukrainian sailor who tried to sink a Russian military supplier’s £5million superyacht following the invasion is pictured joining up.

Mechanical engineer Taras Ostapchuk, 55, attempted to scuttle the 156ft Lady Anastasia owned by millionaire Alexander Mijeev, after seeing pictures of missiles hitting apartment blocks.

Mijeev, is a former head of the Russian Helicopter Corporation who took over state-owned weapons supplier Rostec six years ago and Taras told cops he had tried to sink the yacht out of revenge.

Taras Ostapchuk, 55, shared a picture of himself as he joined up with recruiting officer Oberst Mahoncuk, at a military base in the capital Kyiv

Taras Ostapchuk, 55, shared a picture of himself as he joined up with recruiting officer Oberst Mahoncuk, at a military base in the capital Kyiv

Then speaking of his attempt to sabotage the yacht he added: 'I hope that the wave that I created by throwing a little rock against the yacht will grow and grow'

Then speaking of his attempt to sabotage the yacht he added: ‘I hope that the wave that I created by throwing a little rock against the yacht will grow and grow’

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Taras shared a picture of himself as he joined up with recruiting officer Oberst Mahoncuk, at a military base in the capital Kyiv after he flew back from Spain where the yacht was anchored in Port Adriano, Majorca.

He said: ‘I am in the army now and I have my gun and uniform. I sorted out a few things at home and then I came to the recruiting office and enlisted.

‘I’m proud to defend my country, especially as the situation is very difficult now.

‘They asked me if I knew how to use a gun, I said I didn’t but I was willing to learn to defend my country from the Russian invaders.

Mijeev, pictured, is a former head of the Russian Helicopter Corporation

Mijeev, pictured, is a former head of the Russian Helicopter Corporation

‘The city is in a very bad with food and supplies running out but morale is still high.

‘I am proud to wear the uniform and defend my country. The Russians have blood on their hands and we will kick them out of Ukraine. I am now no longer a civilian. Glory to Ukraine.’

Then speaking of his attempt to sabotage the yacht he added: ‘I hope that the wave that I created by throwing a little rock against the yacht will grow and grow and exit the sea onto land.’

MailOnline told last week how after the incident cops questioned Taras but he was bailed and immediately flew to Ukraine via Zurich and Warsaw.

He crossed the border at Rawa Ruska and then travelled two days before reaching Kyiv where he linked up with his 27-year-old son so he could join up.

Taras said he took revenge against his boss after seeing missiles from Russian attack helicopters hit apartment buildings which ‘looked like my own’.

He explained: ‘I know that Mijeev is the person responsible for making these helicopters and after I saw that video, I thought I have a house like that and it may be hit by a missile so I wanted to take action.

‘What I do want to say is that Mijeev was a good employer and I have no complaints about working for him – it was just the situation with Russia that wound me up.’

Taras was Mijeev’s member of staff and had worked for him for several years – but told police who turned up to arrest him: ‘I don’t regret anything I’ve done and I would do it again’, adding: ‘My boss is a criminal who sells weapons that kill the Ukrainian people.’

Ostapchuk tried to sink a Russian military supplier's £5million superyacht following the invasion

Ostapchuk tried to sink a Russian military supplier’s £5million superyacht following the invasion

Taras explained how he asked for his salary to be paid in advance and then decided to sink the yacht by releasing valves which allowed water to rush in as it was moored at Port Adriano.

The yacht was left partially submerged but still tied to its moorings. When the police arrived Taras is said to have been waiting next to the boat as it went down and reportedly told a Civil Guard: ‘My boss is a criminal who sells weapons that kill the Ukrainian people.’

He told MailOnline: ‘I knew the water wasn’t very deep there – maybe six metres so the yacht would maybe sink only 2.5 metres, enough for water to go into the main rooms but it would not sink to the bottom because it is too shallow.

‘I’m a sailor and I knew those onboard would have time to collect their possessions and try and save the yacht.

‘They did their duty, as any good sailor would do and then they raised the alarm which is when the police arrived.

‘They asked who sank the ship and I said it was me and that it was a political act against Putin’s regime.

‘They put me in jail and I spent the night there and they took my laces and possessions away but I was fed well and I have no complaints against the Spanish.’

In an interview with the Majorca Daily Bulletin he added: ‘We are at war and at war with a crazy maniac.

‘Putin is a criminal rogue who is only interested in blood and money.

‘He wants to destroy us and Ukraine because, in his opinion, we are a failed state because we refused to be ordered about by Russia.

The 156ft Lady Anastasia (pictured) is owned by millionaire Alexander Mijeev, after seeing pictures of missiles hitting apartment blocks

The 156ft Lady Anastasia (pictured) is owned by millionaire Alexander Mijeev, after seeing pictures of missiles hitting apartment blocks

‘It is Russia which is a failed state, Ukraine is a real state and has the full support of the whole world. Putin has been left with just a few international friends.

‘I am angry, but I also glad to be home and fighting to save Ukraine from Putin. 

‘Everybody is angry, and also very sad. Families are being split up, refugees are flooding over the borders.

‘But the Ukrainians are very proud and strong and we are all ready and willing to fight to the death.

‘We’ve already taken out some 6,000 Russian troops and we’re hitting their supply chains, their lorries and convoys but we need more weapons and military equipment to continue the fight because this is a real war, it is like the Second World War all over again.

‘There are fighters arriving from other countries, but as I said, we’re not short of people, we’re short of guns.’ 

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