MOURNING SUB ROSA

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By Alek Akhundov Izvestia, August 7, 2001, p. 2

British and Russian divers completed making technological cuts into the hull of the Kursk in the vicinity of compartments five, seven, and eight. A Dutch tug brought several containers and two vacuum anchors to the ship Mayo.

Regular reports of the PR department of the Northern Fleet are pacifying – “hard radiation normal, weather does not impede the divers or auxiliary services.” The atmosphere of secrecy is extensive. More than the technical details of the salvaging operation are classified. Journalists are told in the presidential administration that the media will probably be barred from the mourning ceremony in Vidyaevo on August 12. Only camera crews of the three nationwide channels (RTR, ORT and NTV) will be allowed to attend the ceremony. Even Navy Commander Vladimir Kuroyedov will not be able to allow other journalists to enter.

Western specialists come up with new hypotheses explaining the sinking of the Kursk. The Observer (Great Britain) authors of the popular program Horizon (BBC) surmise that fuel in the liquid-fuel torpedoes might have exploded. “Morris Sterling, designer and former tutor at the Royal Naval Engineering College, found amazing similarities in the catastrophe of the Kursk and the explosion in the HMSS Sidon in June 1955,” according to The Observer. Half of the British submarine was blown wide open by the explosion of torpedo liquid fuel.

Igor Kurdin, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Submariners Club and ex-commander of a nuclear submarine said, “These torpedoes have been standard naval equipment for over 20 years, and I do not know of a single incident with them. They are the so-called “thick” torpedoes. Their diameter is larger than an ordinary torpedo’s. Their engines are operated on hydrogen, not on electricity as usual. There was a time when these torpedoes carried nuclear warheads. They’re used against large surface targets. Their maintenance is a bit more complicated than the maintenance of ordinary torpedoes, but not to a great extent.

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