« Shtandart », a Russian ghost ship in La Rochelle?

Short URL: https://bit.ly/shtandart-ghost

On La Rochelle market, on Saturday, June 25, 2022, a Ukrainian national saw Vladimir Martus, captain of the Russian frigate, Shtandart. However, the ship, contrary to her habit, was not visible in the city center. Therefore, another activist went to the Atlantic port of La Pallice, located on the outskirts of the agglomeration. Shtandart vessel, which could not be seen from outside the port enclosure, was hidden by the submarine base and by warehouse buildings.

Shtandart vessel became almost invisible in an isolated space

The Russian frigate, Shtandart, in the basin of the submarine base, at the port of La Rochelle La Pallice.

We observe that Shtandart vessel is not only in a port enclosure normally under restricted access, but that it is also mandatory to cross the submarine base to access her pier. We also note that it no longer has the Russian flag which it displayed at the tip of the spanker yard or on the stern mast. On the other hand, it retains its Russian war flame at the head of the mainmast.

Position of the Shtandart on June 25, 2022 in the middle of the afternoon
Position of the Shtandart on June 25, 2022 in the middle of the afternoon

The Atlantic port of La Pallice is located in a non-tourist peripheral district of the city. (2) is the today position of Shtandart (25/06/2022).

1) Position of Shtandart vessel from June 8 to 12, 2022 - 2) Position of Shtandart vessel on June 25, 2022
1) Position of Shtandart vessel from June 8 to 12, 2022 – 2) Position of Shtandart vessel on June 25, 2022

(1) Indicates the position of the Shtandart from June 8 to 12, 2022. It was in the center of La Rochelle before it went to Bilbao and then returned to La Rochelle.

Mooring of Shtandart vessel  from June 8 to 12, 2022, in the city center of La Rochelle
Mooring of Shtandart vessel from June 8 to 12, 2022, in the city center of La Rochelle

From June 8 to June 12, 2022, the Shtandart was moored at the Quai d’Honneur along the Esplanade Eric Tabarly. It is on this esplanade where, three months ago, Ukrainian nationals had been welcomed.They were mainly women and children, having fled the bombs, the cold-blooded assassinations and the Russian rapes.

Shandart vessel no longer shares her position.

The AIS transmission allows a vessel to communicate its position, course, speed, port of origin and port of destination, among others. These elements are visible on « Marine Traffic » website. Since June 6, 2022, Shtandart has no longer transmitted under her AIS. She no longer shares this information.

Last position transmitted by Marine Traffic, June 6, 2022
Last position transmitted by Marine Traffic, June 6, 2022

Shtandart vessel does not appear on the ship movements register of the port of La Rochelle

Entries and exits of Shtandart are not indicated in the movements list of the port of La Rochelle La Pallice.

On line register of ship movements for the port of La Rochelle
On line register of ship movements for the port of La Rochelle

Shtandart vessel displays a cryptic program.

Shtandart’s program as it appears on its website is extremely brief. It is not updated. Shtandart did not go to Bordeaux, the city having canceled its participation in the wine festival.

Shtandart program on its web site
Shtandart’s program on its web site

Should we see, with this blackout, the consequence of the mobilization against the exhibition of the Russian flag in the port of La Rochelle?

Obviously, Shtandart vessel does not (or no longer) work like a sail training vessel. It just proposes tourist excursions for paying passengers. It is indeed a commercial activity. It is too early to say that her discretion, deactivation of the AIS and concealment in an area usually closed to the public is the consequence of the local and international mobilization which began on June 12, 2022. See: « The scandal of the Russian ship « Shtandart » in the port of La Rochelle » (Fr & Ukr). But the question may arise. Similarly, one may wonder why Shtandart does not take steps to switch to the Ukrainian flag. Such registration would allow her to continue to carry out her usual program and to meet her financial needs. Vladimir Martus, the captain, says he sympathizes with the Ukrainian cause and does not hesitate to proclaim himself to be a Ukrainian national, when it suits him. See: « Sorry, Captain Martus, the « Shtandart » frigate is not an anti-putin ship.« 

Update

According to our information, the Shtandart left the basin on June 25 at the end of the afternoon, high tide 4:15 p.m. On June 26, she was photographed in the Pertuis.

Shantardt, june 26 2022

Sud-Ouest newspaper says that Shtandart vessel spent a week in La Rochelle La Pallice and left on June 28. There is an error on this date. We confirm on the 25th. We believe that she entered on the 22nd of June, though we have no confirmation. On the other hand, Sud Ouest does not mention a return date. The boat’s schedule said she was supposed to be in La Rochelle until July 7th. The newspaper confirms that the Shtandart was concealed according to the instructions of the prefecture and that she had been asked not to display her russian flag.

La Rochelle: the “Shtandart” made a stealthy visit to La Pallice – article by Frédéric Zabalza on 06/29/2022

Other articles in Ukrainian and English about Shtandart’s case

All articles have a French version.

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Publié par Bernard Grua

Graduated from Paris "Institut d'Etudes Politiques", financial auditor, photographer, founder and spokesperson of the worldwide movement which opposed to the delivery of Mitral invasion vessels to Putin's Russia, contributor to French and foreign media for culture, heritage and geopolitics.

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