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Putin Rides to Sea Bottom on 'Subsea Limo'

GOGLAND ISLAND — 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 60 meters down to see the remains of the naval frigate Oleg, which sank in 1869, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The remains, being examined by marine archaeologists, lie off the island of Gogland 180 kilometers 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 admitted had been planted.

Monday's journey was ostensibly taken for Putin to learn about underwater research projects by the Russian Geographical Society.

Putin submerged within the clear-paneled, five-seat C-Explorer-5 submarine, which luxury retail site RichVibe touts as the "world's first subsea limousine" with a price tag of $2.4 million.

The Oleg sank after being rammed by an ironclad during a naval exercise. It descended to the seafloor in just 12 minutes, and its interior and weapons remain mostly intact.

Material from RIA Novosti is included in this report.

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