Did Vladimir Putin party in Seward during Exxon Valdez spill cleanup?

A recently published account of an Alaska sea captain’s extraordinary life is filled with tales from a man involved in some of the 20th century’s most historic events. Among them: an account of Vladimir Putin, future Russian president and then-member of the KGB, coming ashore in Seward after arriving to monitor a Russian crew involved in the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup in 1989, Alaska Dispatch News writes.

But is the tale of Putin’s Cold-War-era trip to Alaska just a fable from the sea, spun by a captivating raconteur? A Russian expert, for his part, says he’s not convinced. But the captain’s wife, a co-author of the book, insists the tale is true.

“The Adventures of Captain Jack Johnson” unfolds in rich detail in self-told accounts of Johnson’s eventful life, including the Alaska sailor’s voyage as a young crewman in 1947 on the Exodus ship considered key to Israel’s birth, the newspaper reports.

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