Investigation teams are expected to complete all works in the third compartment of the Kursk nuclear submarine by late January. Vladimir Mulov, the military Prosecutor of the Russian Northern Fleet, reported on Wednesday to RIA Novosti that investigators were doing their best to "achieve the maximum effectiveness of their work." Mulov also stated that the works in the submarine would be halted during the New Year holidays because investigators were tired, both "physically and morally." Over the past 24 hours, investigators have found one more dead crewman and two safes containing personal weapons of the crew, namely 60 pistols, in the third compartment. Thus, the total number of corpses retrieved from the submarine currently comprises 79 bodies, 73 of them have been identified. According to Vladimir Mulov, investigators keep finding documents and personal gear of the sub's crewmen in the third compartment. The teams expect to retrieve still more bodies of the submariners who were in the third compartment at the moment of the explosion. The progress of work is hampered by strong frosts, huge amount of debris and oil products in the compartment.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign