In May 1972, President Richard Nixon paid a head of state visit to the Soviet Union, during which he presenteda modified Cadillac sedan to General Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev, on behalf of the United States. Some threemonths later, in August, a reciprocal gift from General Secretary Brezhnev arrived on board a Russian merchantvessel at the port of Baltimore. The gift was a high-speed, soft-and salt-water traveling hydrofoil boat, SovietModel 70.
In November 1972, the White House staff decided that this boat could best be used in the general service ofthe federal government at the Coast Guard Station in Miami, Florida, which then provided water security andwater transportation for the presidential retreat at Key Biscayne. Transfer to the Coast Guard at Miami wasauthorized by H.R. Haldeman on October 16, 1972. The boat was subsequently put into service on November 8, 1972, and it remained in the Miamiarea until February 1977, when the Coast Guard reported it to the General Services Administration (GSA) as being excess to their needs.
GSA’s Property Utilization and Donation Branch then authorized the transfer of the boat to the Fish and Wildlife Service, with initial utilization in Louisiana, but the service location was changed in June 1977 and the boat was brought to the Washington, D.C. area for use in security and surveillance work by an unspecified federal security
agency. The hydrofoil remained in the Washington area until February 3,1982, when GSA authorized the Fish and Wildlife Service to dispose of itby donation to the Nebraska Agency for Surplus Property, with further andspecific donation to the City of Ogallala, where it was used on LakeMcConaughy, a “25 mile long, 4 mile wide oasis on the Nebraska plain.”In April 1987, the City of Ogallala donated the hydrofoil to the OgallalaChamber of Commerce which used it under the name of “Viktoria,” thename of Brezhnev’s wife, as a promotional vehicle on the lake.
In 2005, the USS Aries Hydrofoil museum acquired President Nixon’s Volga and began restoring the craft. She has been returned to the original Paintscheme and undergone engine work. Currently she operational and flies very well.