Antarctica and the Russian scientists: was Vladimir Putin really given a flask of Lake Vostok water?

Wait, wait, wait… It was reported that the Russian scientists did penetrate the ancient lake on Sunday (2/5/12), but that they had to leave the same day because of incoming winter weather. We were told the bore hole would remain open with anti-freeze so that when Antarctic summer arrives, they can go back and collect samples to test.

Now we’re told some Russian bureaucrat supposedly ‘dropped in’ to Antarctica to observe the historic moment, got himself a flask of Lake Vostok water (which the Russian AARI team has been working for 20 years to reach — not to mention scientists worldwide have been eagerly waiting as long to test), and presented it to Putin in some government meeting on Friday? With that hokey, kiss-up-to-the-PM label?

Who’s lying?

Sample of hidden antarctic lake presented

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Feb. 10 (UPI) — A water sample from Lake Vostok, hidden under antarctic ice for millions of years, has been presented to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, scientists say.

Russian officials confirmed Wednesday researchers at the Vostok station located on the ice sheet above had drilled down to the untouched Antarctic sub-glacial lake, RIA Novosti reported.

Just hours before the historic penetration, Russia’s Natural Resource Minister Yury Trutnev arrived at the station to observe the climax of the project to drill through more than 12,000 feet into the lake.

On Friday, Trutnev arrived at a meeting with Putin and delivered a flask of water bearing a label reading “Lake Vostok, more than million years old, depth 3,769.3 meters, 5.12.11, Antarctic.”

Scientists said Lake Vostok, the largest of Antarctica’s buried network of icebound lakes, could reveal clues to how life evolved before the ice age.

The first sample from the lake’s ancient waters has not yet been tested, researchers said.

If true, I guess Putin may be the next person infected by The Thing.

Meanwhile in Moscow

Vladimir Putin: Russian Prime Minister Thousands Rally In Moscow For Pro- And Anti-Protests – Tens of thousands of people have gathered on the streets of Moscow to stage mass protests both for and against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Huge crowds took part in four rallies in the Russian capital – the largest of which is expected to be an anti-Putin march from Oktyabrskaya metro to Bolotnaya Square. Temperatures of -16C did not appear to deter many protesters from coming out on Saturday. Most wore a white ribbon, which was adopted as a symbol of the protests, and held placards reading “Russia Without Putin” and “For Free Elections”.

Thousands brave icy chill to protest in Moscow – The AP says the rally appears to be bigger than one in December that organizers claimed attracted 120,000 people, which was the biggest demonstration in Russia since the protests 20 years ago that helped bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union.

(Stringer  /  Reuters) A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask takes part in a demonstration for fair elections in central Moscow Saturday.