Russian billionaire begins build work on new marina in Balaklava on the Crimean Peninsula, within the city of Sevastopol

Russian billionaire Arkady Rotenberg has officially started building a new yachting marina in the Crimean Balaklava area, a project that could become one of the most expensive ever undertaken in the Russian marine sector and will be like no other marina in Europe, according to senior officials at the Russian Ministry of Sport and Tourism.

Uniquely the bay where the marina is to be situated is completely invisible from the sea, according to sources close to the project. 

During the Crimean War (1853-1854), the British chose Balaclava for their main military base, while after the World War II it was used as a secret submarine base and for storage of nuclear weapons for the Soviet naval forces.

At the beginning of 2000s, the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma wanted to turn Balaclava into a world-class yacht marina as well a centre of yachting tourism in Ukraine, however these plans were never implemented due to change of power in Ukraine several years later and the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Investors have now completed a feasibility study of the marina, the actual building of which will begin in the coming days. It will be designed for 600 boats and yachts is expected to be completed by 2022. In addition to building of the marina itself, the project also involves dredging and cleaning works at the bay.

The decision to build the marina in Balaklava is reported to have been personally given the thumbs up by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a friend of Rotenberg’s. Putin it is claimed, dived the deep Balaclava waters in a submersible, where he allegedly discovered a sunken 11th century galleon.

As well as sunken galleons, the new marina will feature an exclusive ‘Yacht Village’ recreation complex similar to the luxury Rosa Khutor resort in the Russian Sochi.