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Two WWII ships found in Baltic Sea

ST. PETERSBURG, August 23 (RIA Novosti, Maxim Nichiporenko) -- Two ships lost in the Baltic Sea during World War II have been found in the Gulf of Finland, a Russian researcher told a news conference Tuesday.

Andrei Lukoshkov, head of the Mysteries of Lost Ships research project, said the aim of the project was to find ships that had been lost during the so-called Tallinn Convoy, an operation to evacuate Soviet troops and civilians from the Estonian capital surrounded by the Germans in August 1941.

One of the vessels was the Siberia hospital ship that was sunk by Nazi planes on August 20, 1941 near the Gogland Island in the Gulf of Finland. According to data obtained by the project participants from wartime archives, the Siberia had 890 wounded soldiers and 410 civilians on board. Five hundred people drowned when the ship sank.

Another find was the N12 tanker that sank on August 29,1941 during the same convoy. Three hundred personnel from the 10th Rifle Corps were on board and most of them probably drowned.

The project was launched in St. Petersburg in the summer of 2002. Researchers poured over the 1989-2002 archives on shipwrecks in the Gulf of Finland, the Ladoga, Onega, Chudskoye, and Ilmen lakes.

The founders of the project originally planned to film a documentary about "underwater monuments," although they later decided to create a list of all large objects buried at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland and the largest lakes in the northwest of Russia. Currently, the list comprises more than 10,000 objects.

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