Valery Klimov, Lieutenant-Colonel in retirement, former officer of the FSB department for the Northern Fleet Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 17, 2002, p. 8

Valery Klimov, a former officer of the counter-intelligence service of the Northern Fleet, has sent a letter to Komsomolskaya Pravda in which he denies official conclusions about the cause of the Kursk disaster…

Dear sirs,

I was on duty in the FSB Department for the Northern Fleet on August 12, 2002. (…) After listening to General Prosecutor V. Ustinov’s report about the tragedy I came to a conclusion that the investigation was not completed, or the prosecutor decided not to tell people the whole truth. The point is that to explain the shipwreck by a torpedo explosion is as good as to accuse a lamppost of a car accident. (…)

Two representatives of the Dagestani torpedo plant, Gadzhiyev and Borisov, were on board the submarine illegally (they were not included into the list of the crew). (…) It is not clear how they got to the submarine. (…) Investigators offered a very doubtful theory: they were sent to the submarine by Captain Bagryantsev, chief of the staff of the division (the captain also was sent to the submarine on the eve of the mission, and was not added to the list of the crew).

Let’s analyze these facts. Do you remember how admirals of the Northern Fleet answered the question of why Gadzhiyev and Borisov were on board the submarine? “In order to keep an eye on new accumulators of electric torpedoes…” In reality, Gadzhiyev and Borisov had nothing to do with torpedo accumulators. The point is that the accumulators were produced in St. Petersburg, not Makhachkala. As for the torpedo, it was made in Dagestan…

Here is the conclusion: the specialists were sent to the submarine because there were technical problems with their brainchild. Bagryantsev was sent to the Kursk in order to help the commander in an emergency situation. Owing to the same reason the submarine reached the zone of the exercise three days before the schedule – the crew wanted to get rid of the torpedo as soon as possible. (Senior lieutenant Sergei Tylik’s mother told Komsomolskaya Pravda’s correspondent: “Sergei told me before the Kursk left the base: the main thing is to shoot off this torpedo.”)

This means that:

1. Either the commander of the submarine and the chief of the staff of division did not venture to report the incident to the command;

2. Or they reported, but received a criminal order to take specialists and get rid of the torpedo during the exercise.

Who could give such order? I don’t know who solves questions connected with sending anyone to submarines. All I know is that representatives of the defense industry are not subordinates of the commander of the division.

It is evident that technical problems with the torpedo were very serious; otherwise commanders would have sent warrant officer from the technical base. In the meantime, the torpedo itself could not destroy the submarine. It became dangerous because commanders failed to cancel the mission. To all appearances, they feared provoking their chiefs’ wrath by their reports about technical problems.

Is it possible that Admiral Popov, commander of the Northern Fleet, behaved affectedly when he said that he “wanted to look into the eyes of the person who organized that tragedy”?