Russian President Vladimir Putin plunged into the Black Sea inside his mini submersible called the bathyscaphe near the port city of Sevastopol in Crimea. The Russian leader dove in to see the wreckage of a sunken ancient merchant ship which the Russian Geographical Society found in the end of May.
According to the official announcement of the Russian president’s office, Mr. Putin went down to a depth of 82 meters inside the bathyscaphe. The president was thrilled to see the remains of a Byzantine vessel that sank near the entrance to Balaklava Bay in Sevastopol back in the 10th to 11th century. The Russian Geographical Society, which discovered the ancient ship, is one of the oldest geographical societies in the world, dating as far back as Au. 18, 1845.
Mr. Putin highlighted the importance of his submersible ride to see the remains. He said the ancient ship “is yet to be studied by experts.”
“There are not so many objects of this kind in the northern part of the Black Sea. Although back at the beginning of the century Russian and foreign experts tried to conduct research here, it was the Russian Geographical Society that had the fortune to discover this object, which is very good,” Mr Putin told press.
— President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) August 18, 2015
“This is particularly interesting because the object dates back to the 10th-11th century, which is the time of the establishment of Russia’s statehood and the development of ties with Byzantium and other countries. Therefore, I believe this would be interesting for both experts and the general public, as it would encourage us all to pay greater attention to national history, to studying it, searching for something new and using it for today and for the future,” the president further said.
Ukraine angered by Mr. Putin’s visit
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was reportedly displeased by Mr. Putin’s visit of the annexed Crimea, CNN reported. Mr. Poroshenko was specifically angry because Mr. Putin’s visit is done without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities, CNN said in its report.
In a Facebook post seen by CNN, Mr. Poroshenko described Mr. Putin’s visit as “a challenge to the civilized world” and would escalate the tensions in Ukraine. Russia’s Foreign Ministry on the other hand said it was surprised by Mr. Poroshenko’s reaction.
“Visits by Russian officials to the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol are the Russian Federation’s purely internal affair,” the statement said as quoted by CNN.
Mr. Putin meanwhile refused to comment on Mr. Poroshenko’s reaction, saying, “I will not comment on anything in this regard, because the future of Crimea has been determined by the people who live here. They voted in favour of reuniting with Russia. Period.”