UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

Since August 5th, an expedition of the Ukrainian Speleological Association is working in Krubera-Voronja Cave on the Arabika Massif, with 56 members from Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Belorussia, Great Britain and Iran under the lead of Yury Kasjan. Main efforts are being focused on pushing the bottom sifon "Two Captains", which starts at -2145 m, and the largely independent "Non-Kujbyshevskaja" branch where depth of 1 km has been reached last summer after a major breakthrough.

During last few days several dives have been made in "Two Captains" by Gennadiy Samokhin, Yury Kasjan and Yury Evdokimov. According to today's (August 26) telephone report from the expedition, they dove the sifon for distance of about 140 m to depth of -45 m, where an underwater vertical pit have been reached that goes still deeper. This gives the new "human-penetrated" depth of the World's deepest cave at -2190 m, with the lowermost reached point being only at about 66m above sea level.

The "Non-Kujbushevskaja" branch has been pushed so far to -1250 m but the exploration continues. The expedition is scheduled to finish by September 15. We'll keep you informed.

--Alexander Klimchouk