Submarines in the depths of Baikal may have solved one of the great mysteries of the Civil War.
The long-lost gold of White commander Alexander Kolchak could be within reach of submersibles exploring the lake as part of a scientific mission.
Environmentalists working with the mission told journalists: “Deep-sea vehicles found rectangular blocks with a metallic gleam, like gold, 400 meters below the surface.”
Local residents say that sunken railway wagons found last year match those used on the Circum-Baikal Railway during the Civil War, fuelling rumours that the Admiral’s lost riches could be nearby.
And the latest find, on the bed of Cape Tolstoy, has reinforced that hope.
Kolchak was a hero of the Russian navy in World War I who went on to lead the White resistance to the 1917 revolutionaries.
For a time he was commander of much of eastern Russia, but he failed to persuade potential allies to support him, perhaps because of his overtly monarchistic politics.
Ultimately he was executed by the Bolsheviks in Feb. 1920 and his body was hidden under the ice of Irkutsk's Angara river. After that, legends grew up saying a vast horde of wealth had been lost during the chaos of the civil war.