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(THE HISTORY OF THE KURSK SUBMARINES LOSS)


One of the first tragic scandals that have given the RF citizens their first view of the person, who has climbed up the Kremlin throne with Yeltsins help, was the history of the loss and the investigation of the loss of the Kursk submarine.

Let us go through the pages of recent history. The nuclear submarine K-141, a project Antaeus, whose construction began in 1990 on the Northern machine-building works in Severodvinsk, was put out to sea on August 10th 2000. 118 crewmembers and the captain G. P. Lyachin were aboard on August 12th 2000 when at 11:28AM supposedly an underwater explosion was registered in the Barents Sea; two minutes later another one. As it turned out later, the explosions occurred four hours earlier at about 7:30AM. At 5:30PM the Kursk did not respond and was declared wrecking at 11:30PM. On August 13th at 4:46AM hydro acoustics first discovered the submarine lying on the ground. At 7:30PM the submarine was discovered visually.

It was that day, August 12th 2000 that president Putin went to Sochi on vacation and did not interrupt it in relation to the catastrophe of the Kursk submarine, stayed there during the entire period of the rescue operation. Tanned, in a polo shirt he appeared in the news on television without any sign of grief on his face. Only on August 16th the commandment of the Navy received the presidents sanction for accepting foreign aid to save the Kursk crew, since it turned out that Russias Navy does not possess the necessary rescue means. But it was too late. On August 21st 2000 the Navy commandment officially declared the death of the Kursk crew. On August 22nd president Putin finally visited the Navy base in Vedyaevo and met the relatives of the dead sailors.

Then the situation developed in the following way: after committing a criminal negligence the president decided to pay off the relatives of the dead sailors with honors. On August 26th the Kursk captain Gennady Lyachin was posthumously granted the title of Russias Hero and the 117 crewmembers were posthumously rewarded with the order of courage. The Kursk would have remained under water it wasnt for the media, still half-free then, who started to spread information that the Kursk sunk after he collided with an American submarine spying after Russian Navy training. The media had reasons to claim so. Back in August 15th (the next day after the whole world learned about the tragedy) the radio station Echo of Moscow has declared, citing an anonymous source in the American administration: During the incident with the Kursk submarine, two US Navy submarines were staying near it and their acoustics have registered the sound of the explosion Saturday. In the evening of the same day the Navys Commander-in-Chief, the admiral Vladimir Kuroedov has said that there was a possible collision between the Kursk and an American submarine. On August 16th the Defense Minister Igor Sergeev appeared on television and directly said that the Kursk was rammed. So, on September 19th 2000 president Putin gave the order to start the operations for bringing the rest of the crew and the submarine itself to the surface. However, it was not for elucidating the mystery of its loss. He knew the mystery. He needed to hide the truth.

On October 20th 2000 an expedition of Russian and Norwegian divers arrived to the place where the Kursk sunk.

On November 7th the operation was completed; fifteen bodies were brought out of the deformed compartment. On March 24th 2001 the order about salvaging the Kursk was signed and on May 18th a contract to lift the submarine was signed with the Dutch firm Mammoet. On July 6th the expedition goes out into the Barents Sea.

Notice that the first thing that the expedition did was to separate the first compartment, which was the one to be hit, on July 16th. (The fact that it was, was declared by the chairman of the government commission Ilya Klebanov back on November 8th 2000: After the operations undertaken by the deep-water Mir machines and the exploration of the submarine by the divers, the collision version received a serious video-proof: an interior dent was discovered in the first compartment.)

On October 7th 2001 the salvage operation begins. The first compartment is cut and left on the seabed. The Dutch were not trusted for lifting it. On October 21st 2001 the Kursk's body without the first compartment was put in the dock of a ship-repair factory in Roslyakovo. On October 23rd investigators stepped up on the deck of the submarine. Ustinov and his comrades were working hard, examining the submarine without its first compartment, where it was hit by an object. On February 2002 the investigators finished their work. On March 20th 2002 the identification of the Kursk sailors was finished. On April 26th 2002 the Kursk was scrapped. Without its first compartment.

Only on May 31st 2002 the salvaging of the first compartment of the Kursk submarine was begun. It was a long process and it ended only on June 21st 2002. Apparently they were gathering the tiniest fragments from the seabed. In case the neighboring Norwegians might lift some. And there might be evidence of a collision with the Americans.

And in June 29th 2002 on the concluding meeting of the investigative commission the official reason was finally named the explosion of a torpedo. And it was a deliberate lie. A huge lie. A monstrous lie!

I remember the pseudo-investigation commission and the daily television appearances of a freezing Ilya Klebanov, almost from the deck of the ship, which was doing the salvage operation. This lie, the longest in the RF history lasted almost a year. At that time I was detained in Lefortovo prison and observed with disgust the national daily operation: Russian citizens were lied to on the presidents order.

Here are additional facts on the Kursk tragedy, so that the RF citizens do not have any doubts. On December 6th 2000 the RIA-Novosti reported: On August 17th Russian military planes chased a foreign submarine in Barents Sea. Here is the text: Russian military planes chased a foreign submarine in Barents Sea in the training area of the Northern Fleet. This was confirmed by the Defense minister Igor Sergeev. A day earlier, the recently retired Norwegian admiral Einar Skorgen reported this fact. He did not exclude the possibility of a collision between the Russian Kursk with an American submarine. The admiral also confirmed that in late August the USA submarine Memphis entered a Norwegian harbor. Commenting the Norwegian admiral, the marshal Sergeev said that a special commission finished its work and should make its conclusions. According to the Russian minister Skorgens declaration will be added to the commission documents and submitted to a deep analysis. Meanwhile the USA continues to refute the possible involvement of an American submarine in the loss of the Kursk submarine in Barents Sea. As RIA-Novosti learned from sources in the Russian military delegation in Brussels, the Pentagon chief William Cohen declared to the defense minister Igor Sergeev that an American submarine could not have been involved in a possible collision with the Kursk.

The site http://www.br.com was also bringing new information under the title Loss of the Kursk submarine: In Brussels the defense minister Igor Sergeev declared that the priority version of the Kursk loss still remains a collision with a foreign submarine and also confirmed that six military anti-submarine destroyers of the Northern Fleet did climb in the air. Meanwhile the USA defense minister William Cohen continues to affirm that American submarines have nothing to do with the catastrophe. However the Norwegian admiral Einar Skorgen confirmed the facts, explaining that he has sent a couple of his planes to intercept Russian machines. According to information from Norway the American Toledo submarine left the place of the catastrophe after the collision with Kursk. The submarine was damaged in the front, seven sailors died; the screw propeller and the steering gear were partly destroyed. In two days the crew managed to neutralize the effects of the collision and on August 15th it led the submarine into the deep under the cover of two NATOs Orions. When on August 18th the Memphis submarine called at a Norwegian harbor for repairs, it was only a part of the operation on rescuing the Toledo. Just as the information about all the British submarines returning to their bases, supposedly because of dysfunctions discovered in the reactor of one of them. Some circumstances became known after the dismissal of Skorgen, who differed in opinion with the NATO leadership, more precisely with the USA Navy commandment and allowed himself to point out the Americans involvement in the catastrophe. There is information confirming that the admiral Vyacheslav Popov did give the order to destroy a foreign submarine in the area where the Kursk was lost. It is for this reason that anti-submarine destroyers were called to fly over the Norwegian coast. But then Popov suddenly cancelled his order after talks with the admiral Skorgen and the planes were returned to the base. It is these circumstances that the Deputy Prime Minister Klebanov was supposed to make public on November 21st like some secret. But he did not because something unforeseen happened: the American democracy started to skid; it did not need another scandal on the background of the presidential elections. About at the same time the Northern Fleet held bombing exercises as a late show of determination to sink spy submarines discovered near the Kursk

Back in September 16th 200, a month after the catastrophe, the site Korrespondent.net published information taken from the Stringer newspaper, called Kursk collided with an American submarine! with the subtitle The last ram attack. I abridge the text below: Russias president has put 118 lives on the victory altar of Albert Gore on the presidential elections in the US. The editorial staff got documents proving that the reason of the Kursk loss was a collision with the American Sea wolf-class Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) submarine. Then the Stringer editorial board starts to justify president Putin: We perfectly understand the frightening choice that stood before Putin right after the Kursk tragedy// Either to stay silent and get a deal, with his conscience in the first place, but to receive a real benefit for Russia in result. We do not condemn Putins choice. Maybe on his place anyone would have done the same thing. We are not going to read notations to the president But let us go to the text through the justification: Three explosions. Everything happened suddenly, during 10-20 seconds. The nuclear submarine Kursk was raising to the surface with a speed of 20 knots (about 40 km/hour). The periscope and the antennas were already raised. // Suddenly metal screeching was heard in the front compartment. A container with compressed air exploded from a collision with an unidentified object. The head of the submarine was thrown down. 145 seconds later the cruiser crashes at full speed into the bottom of Barents Sea. The blow of a machine weighting 18 thousand tons against the ground was terrifying. // The blow caused the torpedoes to fall from their fastenings and to detonate. //

However, apart from the two explosions registered by Norwegian seismologists (NATO representatives were insistently talking about them at that time) there was also a third explosion. Jimmy Carter heavily damaged during the ram attack was slowly crawling away from the Kursk, throwing distress buoys. 45 minutes and 18 seconds were needed to the American submarine to get away from the place of accident by only half a mile. Most probably the submarine was practically drifting. During all this time its crew was desperately fighting for their lives. But at this time an explosion was heard on the American submarine cruiser. After this all trace of the killer submarine vanished. Most probably slow paced, it got to the closest NATO military base, where it is hiding to this day. The Americans demonstrated the second Los Angeles-class submarine Memphis to the entire world. And they even let the VGTRK correspondent Sergey Brilev to a safe distance to it. Nobody has ever seen the first submarine.

Further Stringer substantiates its text: The records of hydro-acoustic instruments made by specialists of the RF Navy show that three explosions were heard in the area where the Kursk was lost. The first at 7:30AM on August 12th was a small one equivalent to up to 300 grams of trotil, the second 145 seconds later; a more powerful one equivalent to up to 1700 kg of trotil. The third after 45 minutes and 18 seconds. It was equivalent to up to 400 grams of trotil.

The first and the second are identified with the place where the Kursk was discovered, in an area of about 150 meters in the diameter of variation. The third was registered about 700-1000 meters from the spot where the Kursk is located. // All the above-mentioned permits to conclude that the version about Kursk being hit by a military product, an hydrogen explosion or a mining does not appear to be possible. Since in this case the lapse of time between the first two explosions is unexplainable.

The available data shows that a possible cause for the detonation of the torpedoes could have been Kursks collision with the bottom of Barents Sea that followed the first explosion at 7:30AM on August 12th. A 120-meters-long gash from the submarine is clearly seen on the seabed.

The total absence of any attempts by the submarine crew to use any rescue equipment or distress signalization in the following 145 minutes demonstrates that the control over the submarine was lost in the first 10-20 seconds after the beginning of the tragedy. This (the loss of control) could have happened only as the result of a rapid flooding (burning) of the second control compartment, consisting of four levels making up 500 cubic meters in total. Such large-scale damages by a small explosion registered at 7:30AM are unlikely. According to Rubin Design Bureau where the submarine was projected, the solidity of its body and the air reserves allow to keep the control over this kind of ships when one of their compartments is hit by a directed weapon equivalent to 500 kg of trotil. It would be truer to see this explosion not as the cause of the Kursks loss, but as a consequence (sign) of an unfolding catastrophe. According to the constructors such an explosion could have been caused by a mechanical blow to one of the high-tension containers situated between the light and the solid bodies in the area between the first and the second compartment. In this case the version of the Kursks collision with an underwater object becomes the most probable one.

As we see from the analysis of the Kursk catastrophe given here during the very first month the investigation possessed credible information about what has happened. In reality, I have already mentioned that in the evening of August 15th the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Kuroedov said that possibly the Kursk collided with an American submarine. In response the USA organized an information leak about the two explosions on the Kursk and put forward the version about trying a new missile-traction torpedo that supposedly has become the cause of the tragedy. At this moment, continues the Stringer, the president and the Defense Ministry were already one hundred percent sure that the Kursk collided with another submarine. A distress buoy was fished out (a white and green buoy, which are used in emergency situations in the US Navy. We use red and white buoys), and fragments of the killer-sub remaining on the place of the accident were lifted from the seabed. Only the national identity of the sub was not determined. Hypocritically parroting about a new Russian torpedo the Americans apparently hoped that there would be not enough fragments of the Sea wolf-class submarine for fully identifying its nationality.

Further the Stringer cites materials from the RF Defense Ministry about NATO ships and planes in the area of the Barents Sea. According to the data collected by radio intelligence and acoustic scanning two USA submarines were present in the area of training exercises of the Northern Fleet from August 7th to 12th. One of them was a Los Angeles-class, the other a Sea wolf-class. Also the Norwegian Navy ship Maryata and up to five Orion spying planes were involved. Right after the Kursk catastrophe the espionage activities of the above mentioned ships rapidly declined, which is not typical of NATO actions in such situations; in such cases they try to gather the most detailed information. Instead NATO ships left the training area and called at bases in Norway. // The American submarines left the training area, but from that moment all information about these submarines ceased to enter. The Los Angeles-class submarine is called at a Norwegian base, where the crew is replaced. The whereabouts of the second submarine are not established. // Estimations show that the solidity characteristics and also the constructive particularities of some US types of submarines allow versions, in which damages occurred during a collision do not lead to catastrophic consequences for the ramming submarine. In the situation with the Kursk submarine a situation is possible, in which the ramming submarine was lifted and pushed to the surface by the Kursk after reaping its body, which gave the crew time for an active organization of rescue operations. // Sea wolf-class submarines are considered more modern than Los Angeles-class ones. Their production was unfolded in the midst of the Cold War, after which the expensive project was folded. All submarines of that type were re-equipped as exercise trainers. All except for one. A Sea wolf-class submarine, the US Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) was modernized and given to the NATO forces. A new nuclear reactor was installed on it, making the sub more silent and invisible. The body was strengthened with ceramic and plastic, which augmented the diving capacity. The navigation equipment was replaced with a modern one with an ultrasound system. But the navigation remained Carters weak spot. The last of Sea Wolves was exclusively used for intelligence operations, since it was not equipped with a system of vertical launching of nuclear missiles.

The day after Russia officially acknowledged the Kursk catastrophe, Great Britain, Norway and the USA proposed their help to rescue the sub crew. Great Britains Defense Minister Jeff Hoon made it twice and commenting it each time. The first time he said: Concerning the version about the Kursks collision with a foreign submarine, this was certainly not a British submarine. In the second: At that time there was no ships of Great Britains Navy in the disaster area. Therefore they could not have been involved in a collision with the Kursk. Nevertheless the NATO staff already knew that Russia knows about the collision of the Kursk with a US submarine. The entire day of August 16th information was circulating about talks and consultations between British and Russian militaries. Most probably they were sorting out the confusion that appeared in the beginning because of the official registration of the SNN-23 to the NATO. (There was also confusion in names. An attentive reader has probably already noticed that in one case the killer-sub is called Jimmy Carter and in the other Toledo. According to my sources, it was renamed Toledo and included in NATOs naval group E. L.) The day ended with an official request for help from Russias Ministry of Foreign Affairs only to Great Britain and Norway. And on August 17th Putin officially thanked Great Britains Premier Tony Blair for the help. Even Israels Premier Ehud Barak was awarded with gratitude. However the RF president has not said a word about the USA and Clinton.

Also on August 17th the Deputy Head of Staff of the RF Navy, the Vice-admiral Alexander Pobozhy held talks in Brussels with the commander of NATOs united forces. At the end of the meeting it was declared that complete mutual understanding was reached. The national identity of the killer-sub was finally established. On August 18th the Rear-admiral Kraig Quigley from the Pentagon declared: The Kursk accident does not say anything about the state of readiness of the Russian Navy. I would draw no such macro-conclusions from this or any other accident. They can occur for a variety of reasons to a variety of navies around the world. So I think our focus and our concern at this point is to try to rescue those crew members on board that submarine. The result of admiral Quigleys declaration was a change of tone in the Western press in its covering of the Kursk tragedy. Before this Western media wrote about the end of the Russian Navy and Putins dreams about the rebirth of Russias naval glory. After this a human and compassionate pattern started to dominate.

After August 21st, when the loss of the Kursk crew was declared, many heads of States have called Putin and presented him their condolences. Clinton called as well. One can only guess what they were talking about. The official information said that Putin pronounced words of gratefulness and expressed his assurance in further mutual understanding. In the beginning of September 2000 Putin has met with Clinton in New York.

It is interesting that it is from September 2000 that the Russian authorities have started to badly react on any information about a collision with an American killer-sub as the reason of the Kursks loss. Thus, on September 27th 2000 Linter cites an article in the Versia newspaper untitled Version: Putin and Clinton have agreed to hide the truth about Kursks loss. The text says: The authorities of Russia and USA knew that the reason of Kursks loss was a collision with an American submarine, but they hid this information in order to avoid an armed conflict. This information, together with a photo of an American submarine called at a Norwegian naval base for repairs soon after the Kursk accident was published by the Versia newspaper on September 26th. A Russian satellite made the photo on August 19th 2000, affirm the journalists. The same day Russias minister of defense was given a photo of a damaged American submarine called at Haakonsvern, a Norwegian naval base. At the same time the CIA director George Tenet arrived in Moscow with the purpose of hushing up a conflict that could lead to a war, the newspaper writes. Remember that the Russian media have made the supposition that the reason for the Kursks loss was a collision with Memphis, an American Los Angeles-class submarine. The photo shows a submarine precisely of that type, having serious damages in the frontal part, as the journalists found out. Probably it is the Memphis or the Toledo sub. And already on November 10th, two weeks later, the agency Echo of Moscow declared that I am citing the title and the text Criminal charges were brought against the Versia newspaper for the publication of photos of an American submarine, which supposedly collided with the Kursk. A criminal case was opened in connection to the publication in the Versia newspaper of photos of an American submarine, which supposedly collided with the Kursk submarine, said the editor of Versias investigations section Dmitry Filimonov. He appears on the case as a witness. Friday a computer was confiscated from the newspaper offices. The confiscation was done after D. Filimonov was interrogated in Moscow districts FSB as the author of an article, which said that the Kursk submarine has preliminary collided with an American submarine. // The special services were interested in the satellite photos published in the newspaper. The photos show an American submarine called at a Norwegian naval base and showing clear signs of damage in the frontal part, explained D. Filimonov. The special services are now trying to find out where did he get the photos. According to D. Filimonov, the newspaper received the photos from an anonymous individual who sent a disc with the information in an envelope.

On November 5th 2001 the site Dni.ru published the position of the Prosecutor General citing Interfax: The Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov has again refuted the supposition that the Kursk submarine might have been lost after a collision with another submarine. According to Interfax, Vladimir Ustinov declared that at the present moment the investigation does not have any such supposition.

It was to be expected that already in 2003, after the false conclusions of Klebanovs commission, on February 6th the Federal Security Service refuted claims that the FSB is putting under doubt the results of the investigation about the Kursks loss. According to RIA-Novosti The FSB refuted the claims of a Moscow newspaper that the FSB is putting under doubt the investigation of the Kursks loss. As RIA-Novosti informed Thursday in the FSB Center of Public relations, the information presented in the article of a Moscow newspaper in February 2003 does not correspond to reality. When mister Putins FSB or mister Putins Prosecutor General refute something, RF citizens usually suppose that what is refuted is the truth.

Meanwhile, all the largest Russian naval specialists have unanimously and independently from one another said: yes, there was a collision with a killer-submarine.

Back in August 18th 2000 the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, adm. Edward Baltin has declared this to Echo of Moscow. The accident aboard the Kursk submarine took place in result of a collision; not with a dry cargo ship or an icebreaker, but with an American submarine.

On November 16th 2001 the Izvestia newspaper has published a long interview with the Vice-admiral Mikhail Motzak, Chief of Staff of the Northern Fleet. The interview in Izvestia is followed by the newspaper afterword. Here it is: The Vice-admiral Mikhail Motzak, Chief of Staff of the Northern Fleet was among the instructors of the training exercises during which the Kursk was lost. Today we are publishing a confession, which the vice-admiral made in a conversation with the Izvestia correspondent Konstantin Getmansky. For the first time the Vice-admiral brings evidence that the Kursk was lost in result of a collision with a foreign submarine. We do not know why he decided to tell about this now. The military that occupy such high functions very rarely make such declarations without consulting their leadership. If such a consultation took place, it means that after the Kursk was salvaged, the commission managed to obtain the final evidence of a collision. However, if it did not it means that the Vice-admiral staked his all, placing his admirals honor above his carrier. I will cite the most interesting passages from the interview with the Vice-admiral.

A lot of direct signs were registered proving that a second underwater object, possibly wrecking itself, was in the vicinity of the wrecking Kursk. Peter the Great has registered this object with hydro-acoustic equipment. It was also visually registered by people who tried to get distress buoys out of the water

Then why wasnt the buoy fished out? It could have served as evidence of a collision.

The buoy was retained by a cable-rope about three-meters-deep. It was practically anchored. Anything could have been this anchor.

Could it have been another submarine?

Yes. And when an officer tried to hook the buoy with a gaff he didnt succeed. Unfortunately, later the buoy was lost because of bad weather. By the evening of August 13th our pilots have registered fuel bubbles on a distance of about 18 miles to the northwest from the Kursk. Then anti-submarine planes discovered a submarine leaving the Barents Sea. The same flight was done on the following day, in order to confirm the location of this submarine, but the signal of all of our hydro-acoustic buoys was suppressed on all the channels by our friends from NATO.

Then why was the underwater object lost by such ships as Peter the Great and Admiral Chabanenko, which are specially designed for searching submarines?

As a head of staff I admit that this was a neglect. When it discovered the sunken submarine and registered a second underwater object, Peter the Great decided its main task was to bring rescue forces to the Kursk. Maybe it was wrong. In this situation it had to execute both the rescue task and the task of finding out the real cause of the catastrophe.

Another confession: Twenty three people in the ninth compartment have maybe died eight hours after the catastrophe, already when the compartment was flooded. Still sailors might have remained alive in the fifth and the second-fifth compartment and they continued to bang. We heard the last bangs at 11:00AM on August 14th. This confession is unpleasant for president Putin. After all he gave the sanction to the Navy for using foreign help to rescue the crew only on August 16th (I remind that the Navy did not possess the technical means itself). Only after it has been two days that the banging stopped.

On December 13th 2001 a Soviet Union Hero, former commander of the nuclear submarines fleet, the Vice-admiral Matushkin gave an interview to the Pravda newspaper. The newspaper writes: He reminded that white and green buoys were found on the surface in the vicinity of the accident, which are used in emergency situations in the US Navy. We have red and white buoys, the Vice-admiral said. Then, in his words, a distress signal from a submarine was acoustically registered. Doubtlessly, it was a foreign submarine. In our fleet such signals are not transmitted automatically for secrecy reasons. He supposed that the tragedy was unfolding according to the following scenario. The Kursk and the foreign submarine were going towards each other on different depths. The Russian submarine was going deeper than the American submarine and when they collided it received damages on the upper left side. With such an upper damage it is impossible to create counter-pressure and stop the water from entering. Our submarine that had a speed of, lets say, 5-6 knots, has sharply taken a trim by the bow (50-60 degrees) and sunk to the bottom, Matushkin pointed out. Also a shelved torpedo fell and hit the body of the submarine. Then it detonated. Lev Matuhskin categorically disapproved the version of a torpedo dysfunction causing the Kursks loss. He considers that this illiterate declaration is intended for the naivety of the society. Such declarations are an attempt to compromise the submarine crew and the services of torpedo bases. As regarding the claims and the conclusions of the attorneys, then, as Matushkin said, not a single attorney, even a military one, can be considered an expert in naval affairs. Only the opinion of a real expert in submarines can be precious here, obviously on the condition that he is honest.

I remind that on June 29th 2002 on the final session of the governmental commission investigating the Kursk loss, the official cause was named a torpedo explosion. Minimally there was one honest expert in the commission the adm. Motzak. I have reported his opinion above.

After the pronouncing of the official verdict, Russian media have forgotten about the Kursk under the pressure of the Kremlin, the FSB and well, time. But some have not forgotten about this tragedy whom would you think? Foreigners, of course. Only recently History Channel in Canada showed documental series about submarines. Two series were dedicated to the Kursk. Russian internet-forums were full of discussions about the Canadian movie. Here is its description, taken from an Internet site as told by Stringer on August 1st 2005.

First they showed what we have already seen and heard. How and when it happened, how our military commanders reacted. The usual images. Hysterical women and all that. Accusations to Putin that he stayed on the Black Sea. They showed Ilya Klebanov, if you remember, at that time he was Deputy Primer Minister. They showed how Klebanov silently stood in front of hysterical women, not knowing what to answer.

We already relaxed, expecting that they will start to criticize Russians as usual. And suddenly an unexpected turn. // They showed that there were two American submarines in the training area. They were on a special mission, spying over the training. One sub, the Memphis, was covered by another, the Toledo. It seemed that there was only one submarine on radar and sonar screens. Then the Memphis emerged from its leading sub, in order to have a better view of the launching of a ballistic missile from the Kursk, but it miscalculated the trajectory and the distance. The Americans found themselves on the opposite trajectory and frontally collided with the Russians. They damaged the Kursks most vulnerable second compartment. But the most terrible happened later. The captain on the second American sub Toledo decided that the Russians have in some way attacked the Memphis and without giving it a second thought launched a torpedo at the Kursk. The torpedo hit right in the loosened part on the junction of the second and third compartment and exploded inside. The movie showed a computer variation involving the three subs about what has happened. Our planes have registered oil marks in the water on the trajectory of the leaving foreign submarine. (Some newspapers wrote that this was a foreign submarine, a British one, it seems, and we have all read about this).

Now about what we did not know. It turns out that the Russians were following these two American submarines before all of these events and knew for sure that these were Americans on a spying mission. After the collision and the attack on the Kursk the defense minister Sergeev sent two counter-submarine squadrons. Putin in the South was immediately informed. And at the same moment Americans entered in contact with Putin. After speaking with the Americans Putin called the planes back. // The CIA director urgently arrived in Moscow for consultations. All this time Putin was in contact with Bill Clinton. In the end, nobody was allowed near the submarine, although the entire world was offering qualified assistance. After all we all thought that somebody could be saved. A few days later the Russians agreed to let the Dutch, but with the strict order not to go near the submarines head. The Dutch managed to open the hatch in the eighth compartment; they found some messages left by the crew and confirmed that nobody had survived inside the sub. After this our divers got to work. They did not care about the sub anymore, its reactor and the dead sailors. It turns out that they were removing the debris and fragments of the American Memphis from the seabed around the Kursk. The Russian newspapers that managed to publish satellite images of a suspicious foreign submarine in repairs in a Norwegian harbor were instantly threatened by the FSB. This submarine was in fact the American Memphis and it took it seven days to get to Norway instead of the usual two. The other American submarine Toledo left to the USA in zigzags, following an unusual trajectory. Two representatives of the Russian military and political leadership Igor Sergeev and Ilya Klebanov who insisted on the American track as the public version were in the end forced to resign. Some time later (about two weeks after the tragedy) the entire Russian debt to the USA was canceled and the United States gave a new $10-billion credit to Russia. Each family of the sailors dead on the Kursk got the unthinkable by Russian shabby standards compensation of 25 thousand rubles.

Nevertheless, Putin had to salvage the sub in order to raise his political image. A year later a contract with A Dutch firm, the only one that agreed to lift only the middle and the rear part, was signed for salvaging the Kursk. All the other firms agreed to lift the whole vessel for lesser money. The Dutch sawed off two head compartments and brought all the rest on the ground. Here we were shown zoomed-in images of the sub on their arrival. Right at the spot where it was sawed off there was a huge round hole and its borders were crumpled inside. Our TV certainly did not show this, because this part of the fuselage was instantly declared classified and was later liquidated actually as all video footage. The film presented testimonies of experts who confirmed that only an American new model torpedo (I do not remember its exact name) could leave such marks, burning the extern layer and bursting inside.

An astonishing movie. Especially here, in Canada. One thing is for sure: the idea of an American track was not even put in doubt. The film was made with the participation of British, Canadian and independent American journalists.

My comment: Some confusion with the name of the killer-sub (was it Memphis, Toledo or Jimmy Carter) is easily explained: the spy-sub did not leave a visiting card after it rammed the Kursk. And if it did, it was picked up by Putins guys from the FSB.



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