Yevgeny Chubarov Izvestia, October 15, 2001, p. 2

The press center which covered the Kursk operation has been closed, though the submarine has not been docked. It is very likely that the Navy will try to conceal further manipulations with the sunken submarine.

The international press center in Murmansk, which covered the Kursk operation in the Barents Sea, was closed on October 14. Vyacheslav Popov, Commander of the Russian Northern Fleet, Murmansk Governor Yury Yevdokimov, and Presidential Aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky, attended the final press conference. Meanwhile the Kursk operation continued: specialists tried to fasten the second pontoon to the Giant-4. The Kursk nuclear submarine has not been docked, which is why the operation has not ended.

Vyacheslav Popov thanked journalists for “objective and cultural reports”, but asked them not to focus attention on the timing of docking the nuclear submarine.

The commander said, “Time now means nothing. We can work with haste. The final phase of the operation, the docking of the submarine, does not depend on the weather.”

Fastening pontoons to the barge and the submarine is a very difficult operation. The Kursk will be shown to journalists after the submarine is docked.

Vyacheslav Popov said, “You will be able to see the Kursk in a couple of weeks. But don’t try to force us to show the ruined compartment. We don’t think it is correct to show damages. This will look like death on TV.”

It is evident that the first compartment of the Kursk submarine will not be raised from the seabed this year. The area where the torpedo room lies will be closed for navigation. (…) Officials made no mention regarding the timing when this compartment will be raised.

The commander then made a paradoxical statement. He said that the Gepard nuclear submarine, which recently was built in Severodvinsk would raise the Andreev flag after the Kursk submarine has been docked. However, Popov noted that the date of passing the Gepard to the Navy is not linked with the timing of the Kursk operation.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, in turn, said that the Kursk submarine would attract journalists’ attention for a long time. He noted that the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office and Ilya Klebanov’s commission must answer the question why the submarine sank.