INVESTIGATION: A BREAKTHROUGH

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Vadim Soloviov Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 12, 2001

Igor Spassky of the Central Design Bureau went public implying that he had “ample information on the Kursk catastrophe” and that “it was the rarest chain of events that resulted in the catastrophe.” “We are very close to unraveling the mystery now,” Spassky said referring to some documents divers had discovered in Compartment Four and to fragments of the hull lifted from the seabed.

Spokesmen for the Navy and officials of the Investigation Commission are not available for comments. The Investigation Commission sticks to the same three hypotheses – collision with a mine, collision with a foreign submarine, and an emergency in Compartment One. It seems that specialists are fairly skeptical about the two former hypotheses.

Spassky’s statement shifts the focus of blame from purely technical flaws in submarine construction to the poorly trained crew and improper maintenance.

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