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In latest stunt, Putin rides to bottom of sea

President Vladimir Putin on board the C-Explorer 5 submersible Monday.

Kremlin via Reuters

President Vladimir Putin on board the C-Explorer 5 submersible Monday.

MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin’s latest media event was modest by the stunt-happy Russian leader’s standards — a half-hour trip to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland to see a shipwreck. He didn’t even find any treasure.

Putin on Monday rode a small submersible craft 200 feet down to see the remains of the naval frigate Oleg, which sank in 1869, Russian news reports said.

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The remains, which are being examined by marine archeologists, lie off the island of Gogland 110 miles west of St. Petersburg.

Putin’s penchant for adventurous stunts included a trip to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, and a scuba dive in which he brought up pottery shards that his spokesman later acknowledged had been planted.

The Oleg was found in 2003 by a Russian exploration team, which got a national grant to research the wreck.

Officials said the condition of the ship would not allow it to be raised, but there are plans to make a replica.

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