A RUSSIAN warship called Dmitrii Donskoi carrying gold worth £100 billion has been discovered off the coast of South Korea and is believed to have sunk in a naval battle 113 years ago. It is thought that the battleship, which was discovered off the island of Ulleungdo, was sunken during the Russo-Japanese War and could have had the gold of an entire flotilla on board.
The Dmitrii Donskoi was an armoured cruiser in the Russian Imperial Navy’s Baltic fleet which was deployed to the Pacific in the 1904-5 Russo-Japanese War. The warship would have taken part in the Battle of Tsushima which saw Russia defeated by Japanese warships. Some historical accounts have revealed the Dmitrii Donskoi carried the treasury of the entire flotilla which would have included the port expenses and also the salaries of sailors and officers.
The gold reserves of various other ships that were damaged in the battle could have been transported to the warship as well. The South Korean treasure-hunting company, Shinil Group, spent many years attempting to find the treasure ship and is now preparing for a joint operation with companies from China, Canada and Britain to retrieve the treasure. The company said in a statement: “We spotted things that look like treasure boxes, but we have not opened them yet. We will open them up in due course.
The company also hopes to make a museum about the sunken ship.
The museum is likely to have an exhibition on Captain Ivan Lebedev, who died a few days after the Battle of Tsushima
Russia will also get an equal share of the money as they are the rightful owners of the ship and have been helping the South Korean firm with their search for the wreck.
The funds may be used for joint Russia and South Korean projects, such as a railroad connecting Russia with Korea.