A Russian missile hit today, Thursday, November 9, in the Black Sea, in the area of Odessa, the cargo ship “KMAX RULER” under the flag of Liberia, of the Cypriot company Cyprus Sea Lines, owned by Andreas Hatzigiannis. The captain died from the explosion and three other people were injured.
According to Ukrainian officials, the ship was hit by a Kh-31P missile fired by a Russian fighter jet as it entered a port in the Odesa region. “The missile struck the Liberian-flagged cargo ship as it entered port“, the military command for southern Ukraine said in a post on X (Twitter). He also confirmed the death of one person and the injury of three more crew members.
Moscow has warned that any ship approaching Ukrainian ports could be a target. The Russian military has repeatedly bombed critical infrastructure and warehouses in the Ukrainian port of Odessa.
Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, claimed that the ship was carrying iron ore to China. The head of consultancy firm Bosphorus Observer, speaking to Reuters, confirmed that the vessel was the Kmax Ruler and was in the port of Pivdeni to load iron ore.
Who is Andreas Hatzigiannis?
In 1974, Andreas Hatzigiannis served in the 32nd Commando Squadron of the National Guard of Cyprus. In July of that year, during the landing of the Turks on the island, the 32nd Squadron was ordered to stop the advance of the Turkish soldiers in the Aspri Mutti area.
Then, the Turkish tanks broke up the sniper force and the 3rd Assault Squadron was decimated. Those who escaped the bombs and bullets retreated disorderly. Among those who were lucky enough to survive was Andreas Hatzigiannis.
Mr. Hatzigiannis managed to escape the bombs and bullets and captivity. However, his tenure continued for another year. In 1975, he graduated from the National Guard and decided to pursue a naval career.
He comes from a small village in Cyprus, Akaki, located 22 kilometers west of the capital Nicosia. In 1974 his village had only 1,500 inhabitants and to them were added another 623 refugees after the invasion. From this small village, Andreas Hatzigiannis started, who became a sailor, captain, shipowner and today is the president of the Union of Cypriot Shipowners, owns three shipping companies and owns a total of about 45 ships.
The three shipping companies he manages are Cyprus Sea Lines, Cyprus Maritime and Hellenic Tankers.
His standout property is the luxury yacht Mariu, a Mega Yacht built in 2003. Its overall length is 49.9 meters and its beam is 9.59 meters. The yacht sails under the flag of Malta. This is Giorgio Armani’s former yacht, which costs 15 million dollars.