As much of the world looked to cut Russia off from the global economy following its invasion of Ukraine, Sovcomflot began quietly shuffling ships between managers, jurisdictions and class societies.

The Russian state-backed shipowner spent the spring transferring a portion of its fleet to a rebranded Dubai-based management subsidiary and reclassifying its ships with the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), an analysis of shipping databases and corporate documents shows.

“That’s entirely expected,” said Jacob Kirkegaard, a non-resident fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in the US.