Russia: September 27, 2000

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The Russian government has launched a formal inquiry into the loss of the submarine Kursk. Deputy Prime Minister Klebanov continues to insist that a collision with another vessel, probably a British submarine, caused the loss of the sub. The British and US Navies insist they had no submarines in the area, and the most likely cause remains the explosion of a torpedo or other weapon in the forward torpedo room. Norwegian divers found the submarine completely flooded, although later analysis will determine if the flooding of the rear compartments came at the same time as the forward ones or at some later time. Russian President Putin has refused to accept the resignations of Defense Minister Sergeyev, Navy Commander Koruyedov, or Northern Fleet Commander Popov, saying that picking a scapegoat is "the most mistaken response". The incident has convinced the Russian people that President Putin's priority is in establishing a strong government, not in taking care of individuals.--Stephen V Cole

 

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