Built in the late 19th century, the cathedral is located on the site of the ancient Greek city of Chersoneses, where, according to a legend, the Kievan Prince, St Vladimir was baptised. The cathedral was heavily damaged during World War II and was only recently restored.
The two leaders visited the Orthodox church, saw the famous Chersoneses Bell and watched archaeological excavations on the site of the ancient Greek city.
After visiting Chersoneses, Mr Putin and Mr Kuchma boarded a boat for the Artek international youth centre. During the four-hour sea ride the two heads of state discussed the entire spectrum of Russia-Ukrainian relations.
At the Artek centre the two leaders watched the performances of children’s dance groups and talked with the kids, including a group of children from flood-stricken parts of Yakutia.
The Russian President presented a collection of Alexander Pushkin’s works to the international children’s centre library and signed the visitors’ book.
The former Artek Young Pioneer Camp was founded in June 1925. At present it stretches almost 20 kilometres along the coast from Ayu-Dag towards Gurzuf. It is a veritable city of 10 “districts” and children’s health camps.