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Putin descends to Black Sea bed in submergence vehicle to explore antique vessels

The Russian president has earlier made underwater voyages

MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin descended to the Black Sea bed in a bathyscaphe off Crimea to see the remnants of vessels dating back to the 10th-11th centuries, Life News TV Channel reported on Tuesday.

The TV Channel aired talks between project participant Anastasia Chernobrovina and the head of state who said he was staying inside the bathyscaphe and exploring the remnants of vessels, presumably Byzantine ships, and a large of number of amphorae and other objects on the seabed.

This submergence "is a good occasion to see once again how deep our historical roots are and how deep our history of relationships with the entire world is," Putin said.

Putin told journalists about his impressions after the submergence was over.

In his working trip to Crimea, Putin is accompanied by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, chief of the Kremlin staff Sergey Ivanov, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

In a talk with journalists, Putin congratulated the Russian Geographical Society with its 170th anniversary.

"I congratulate you with the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Geographical Society," Putin said.

‘It so coincided that we turned out to be in Crimea on this day and we observed a rare object, which specialists date back to the 10th-11th century," the head of state said.

This object is a galleon, which was shipping civilian cargoes and sank near Balaclava Bay, Putin said.

"This is a very interesting object and specialists still have to study it. It should be said there are quite few such objects in the northern portion of the Black Sea," the Russian president said.

Putin said his participation in the underwater expedition was an attempt to evoke people’s interest in the country’s history.

Putin earlier made an underwater voyage in Lake Baikal when he submerged to its bottom in a submersible in 2009. In August 2011, he scuba dove in the Taman Bay to see the so-called Russian Atlantis - the submerged part of the ancient city of Fanagoria. He also took a dive in a submersible to the sunken sailing ship Oleg in the Bay of Finland in 2013.