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Mission implausible: Vladimir Putin dives to bottom of Gulf of Finland in search of another photo op


Last time Vladimir Putin went into the sea for a photo opportunity, he brought back from the depths a collection of shards of ancient pottery (which later turned out to have been planted for him to find).

There was no such find this time, however, during the Russian President’s half-hour trip to the bottom of the sea in the Gulf of Finland to see a shipwreck. Mr Putin rode down 200ft in a small submersible craft to see the remains of the naval frigate Oleg, which sank in 1869.

Away from the wreck, Mr Putin found time to address a more pressing concern: the fate of the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. Mr Putin said he saw signs that Mr Snowden was shifting towards stopping “political activity” directed against the United States – a condition the President gave for Russia to consider an asylum request.