A Russian battleship that was sunk in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 has been found off the coast of China near the city of Lyushun (formerly Port Arthur) by a joint Chinese-Russian expedition, Russian consular official Evgeny Tomikhin said on Wednesday.
"In the course of research of the Lyushun area, using Russian archive material, an object was found which is similar in description to the wreck of the Petropavlovsk," Tomikhin said.
The wreck is around 90 meters long and 13 meters wide and is located just two meters under the seabed. According to experts' initial assessments, the wreck is almost certainly that of the Russian Pacific Fleet battleship Petropavlovsk, which went down in April 1904, but further tests will have to be made to confirm the ship's identity, he said.
Petropavlovsk was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. It sank after hitting a mine in the Sea of Japan, along with 620 sailors, 29 officers and Admiral Stepan Makarov, as well as the artist Vasily Vereshagin.
The research expedition was undertaken by the Russian Pacific Fleet's Iskra Research Center and the Chinese State Center for Protection of Underwater Cultural Relics and the Chinese Navy. The research work has been financed by Russian state oil company Rosneft, with the support of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The area where the search has been taking place is close to the main base of the Chinese Northern Fleet, requiring the cooperation and permission of the military and state authorities, Tomikhin said. There are no plans to bring up any objects from the wreck site at present, he added.