Segodnya, March 6, 2001, p. 2
The Sunday Times published a most exotic theory regarding the Kursk disaster in its latest issue. The newspaper refers to a statement by a certain Russian admiral “involved in investigating the tragedy.” According to the newspaper, the Russian nuclear submarine was destroyed by a Granit cruise missile that had been launched by the cruiser Petr Veliky. According to the newspaper’s source the cruise missile went astray and fell into the sea exactly above the Kursk. The missile was not equipped with a warhead. However, the newspaper states that the explosion was caused by the remnants of the missile’s fuel. As a result the submarine allegedly was rocked strongly enough that torpedoes fell out of their storage racks and exploded…
Captain Igor Dygalo, an aide to the Commander of the Russian Navy, stated that command will not comment on statements made on condition of anonymity. He noted that “making reports to the Russian and foreign media is the responsibility of the special governmental commission.” However, no one has explained to society that the theory announced by the Sunday Times is nonsense. As is known, a missile without a warhead cannot damage a nuclear submarine. In addition, organizers of the fatal exercise in the Barents Sea have repeatedly stated that the Kursk was outside the firing range of the warship. Rear Admiral Georgy Kostev refused to discuss the theory that the submarine was destroyed by a cruise missile. According to him neither this theory, nor the theory of the government commission, according to which the submarine collided with a foreign submarine, can stand up to close examination. Professional circles believe that a fire in the torpedo compartment, which broke out as a result of a torpedo malfunction, caused the tragedy.