COLLISION

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Konstantin Getmansky Izvestia, November 17, 2001, p. 1

Admiral Mikhail Motsak says the Kursk might have collided with a foreign submarine. Russian warships discovered indirect evidence of the presence of another damaged submarine near the Kursk

(…) Rear Admiral Mikhail Motsak, Chief of the Staff of the Northern Fleet, commanded the exercise during which the Kursk nuclear submarine sank. (…) The rear admiral is sure that the Kursk sank because it collided with a foreign submarine.

(…) As a rule, high-ranking officials do not make such statements without the approval of the Russian president. This means that it is very likely that the state commission has discovered evidence that the Kursk collided with a submarine. Otherwise the rear admiral is risking his career.

(…)

Question: Admiral Popov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, said there was another submarine near the Kursk. Is it true?

Mikhail Motsak: There are many indirect signs that there was another underwater object near the Kursk submarine after the tragedy. The Peter the Great cruiser spotted this object. People who tried to raise emergency buoys noticed that object.

Question: Do you mean that your specialists discovered foreign buoys?

Mikhail Motsak: I don’t know for sure because the color of Russian and foreign buoys is alike. But I know for sure that the Kursk’s buoy is on board the submarine.

Question: Why didn’t you raise the buoy? This is very serious evidence.

Mikhail Motsak: The buoy was at a depth of three meters. It was anchored to some object.

Question: Could it be a submarine?

Mikhail Motsak: Yes, it could. When officers tried to raise the buoy they did not manage. Unfortunately, we lost the buoy because of bad weather. Our pilots noticed fuel bubbles rising from under the water 18 miles to the northwest from the Kursk on August 13. Anti-submarine planes then noticed a submarine moving from the Barents Sea. The next day our planes tried to spot that submarine but the hydro acoustic signals were jammed by NATO warships.

Question: How could it happen that such warships as the Peter the Great and the Admiral Chabanenko lost that submarine?

Mikhail Motsak: That was our mistake. First and foremost, the Peter the Great, which spotted the Kursk and another submarine, tried to save our submarine. I think that this was a mistake. The crew of the warship had to conduct a search-and-rescue operation and try to figure out the cause of the shipwreck. Our main task was to guide the ship carrying small submarines to the site of the disaster and save people who managed to survive on board the Kursk and knocked at the hull of the submarine.

Question: By the way, the press says that this was technical noise, but not knocking.

Mikhail Motsak: This is a very difficult question. We registered two sources of knocking on board the submarine. Technical noise subsided very quickly. It is possible that 23 people from the ninth compartment perished eight hours after the shipwreck. Meanwhile, I think people in the fifth compartment were alive for a long time. The last knocking was registered at 11:00 AM on August 14.

Question: Do you think the Kursk collided with a foreign submarine?

Mikhail Motsak: I do not have official evidence. I cannot announce my personal opinion because I am a member of the government commission.

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