Putin reaches new depths in PR stunt
VLADIMIR Putin, Russia's prime minister, has added underwater archaeology to his list of outdoor pursuits, diving beneath the Black Sea to explore the submerged ruins of an ancient Greek city known as Russia's Atlantis.
The area was the site of an ancient Greek settlement known as Phanagoria, which is currently being excavated by Russian archaeologists, and Mr Putin's scuba diving foray received top billing on Russian state TV.
Mr Putin descended little more than seven feet but somehow managed to uncover the remains of two ancient Greek amphorae, used to store wine or olive oil, buried in the sand.
"Treasure!" the 58-year-old Russian strong man said with a big grin after emerging from the sea. "They drank it all already," he quipped when asked if there was anything left in the amphorae.
It was his second action man performance this month and followed a recent visit to a Kremlin youth camp, where he tried to bend a frying pan with his hands, scaled an artificial climbing wall, and took part in an arm wrestling contest.
With a presidential election due in March next year, Mr Putin's underwater archaeological expedition will do his chances no harm if he does, as many suspect, decide to run. (© Daily Telegraph, London)