Putin’s Diving Discovery Set Up

AP Photo

In this Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, photo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, foreground, prepares to dive during a visit to an archeological excavation of an ancient Greek port on the Taman Peninsula, about 1150 kilometers (720 miles) south of Moscow, Russia. Ancient Greek colonies were located on the peninsula and served as trading posts with the steppes of what is now southern Russia and Ukraine.

Looking back now, it did seem a bit incredible when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was caught on tape diving into a bay and miraculously discovering sixth-century ceramic jugs. Apparently that’s because the whole scene was staged. Putin’s press secretary revealed today that the precious jugs had previously been unearthed by some archeologists and then replaced in relatively shallow water for the prime minister to find. The press secretary also insisted that, contrary to popular assumption, the perpetuated public persona of a heroic Putin is not the work of a team of PR people and image makers. Instead, the prime minister mostly comes up with these genius gimmicks all on his own.