Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Relatives of Kursk victims sue Russian authorities

The submariners were living for more than three days after the Kursk sank

Fifty families of submariners, who died in the sunken Kursk sub, filed a complaint to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. They demand the investigation of the tragedy on board the submarine should be continued. In addition, the relatives of the killed submariners claim that Russian officials fulfilled their duties poorly during the organization of rescuing works in the Baltic Sea.

Attorney Boris Kuznetsov believes that members of submariners' families were restricted in their access to justice. “The Moscow Court Martial confirmed the results of the expertise regarding the time, when 23 crewmembers died in the ninth compartment of the Kursk submarine. According to the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the submariners were alive for not more than eight hours after the breakdown. The emergent stock of food on board the sub was left intact – this evidence is beyond any criticism. Has anyone ever calculated how many loaves of bread were originally kept on board and how many of them were left? We constantly emphasized this fact: the submariners were living for more than three days after the Kursk sank. The courts, however, did not listen to us,” the lawyer said.

Family members appeal against the results of the acoustic expertise too. The expertise determined that knocking sounds originated from other vessels nearby, not from the Kursk. “Which vessel would send an SOS if it is not sinking? In addition, on August 13th, at about 2 p.m., when the knocking sounds were registered, there was no other vessel in the disastrous area. There was Peter the Great ship, though, but it was the ship that registered the sounds. Were those signals sent by those who had already died?” Kuznetsov stated.

Roman Kolesnikov, the father of submariner Dmitry Kolesnikov, who died in the ninth compartment of the Kursk said: “The majority of relatives, on behalf of which the lawyer submitted the claim to the European Court for Human rights, reside in St.Petersburg.  As far as I know all 118 families of the killed men support Boris Kuznetsov's decision to find out the truth, taking into consideration the newly discovered evidence.”