Our always-sad Minister for Science and Industry Ilya Klebanov announced the conclusions of the governmental committee: the Kursk nuclear cruiser sank because of the torpedo explosion. The tone, in which it was said, did not suppose any objections or any other formulation, at least publicly. However, Klebanov’s information did not dissipate numerous rumors or questions, it actually agitated them. The version about the torpedo explosion existed almost two years ago, but why did it blow up? Why did the chief managed to move almost the entire crew to other compartments of the sub before the second explosion took place?
This is the most sensitive point, which has been harassing not only sailors, but also millions of people all over Russia. There are a lot of talks about the mystery of the Kursk, and there is nothing to stop them: people think that the sub sank because of the collision with another submarine. These talks will never fade out, even in a hundred years, taking into consideration the fact that the government is doing everything for that with its silence, or statements of half-truth.
A colleague of mine from the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta Alexander Yemelyanenkov tried to find out the details two days after the message from Minister Klebanov, and here is what came out of it.
“The chief engineer of the central design bureau Rubin, Igor Baranov, who was in charge of the construction works of the Kursk and other subs of the project, is a member of the governmental committee. We contacted him yesterday evening, hoping to get a qualified comment, but Igor Baranov thanked us for our attention and offered to content ourselves with what Minister Kelbanov said. The chief engineer did not expose the “awful” military secret either: was there anyone from the investigating group of the Office of the Military or General Prosecutor at the session of the committee yesterday?
Searching for the answer to this question, we directly addressed to the Office of the Military Prosecutor - nothing followed. Then we went to the PR department of the Office of the Prosecutor General, and they offered us to contact the Military Prosecutor of the Northern Navy, Vladimir Mulov. We called him, but it turned out that Major-General Mulov was on vacation, but his deputy, Pavel Vodinsky, did not hurry to hang up the phone, to our great surprise: “I have heard about the St.Petersburg committee from you only. No one invited us there, no one informed us about it, or asked for any materials. “And who ordered to stop the works in the first compartment?” – “We definitely have not set forth such an initiative.” “Military men say that there is nothing to retrieve anymore.” – “This is not true. There are other things to retrieve, and there is a need in that. But who asks about it? We were indignant with the reproach about the fact that investigators were avoiding comments. If there is a need in a detailed interview – we are not refusing from that, but there should be a permission obtained.” “Was there a letter from the Prosecutor General to the president with a request to support the arguments of the investigation? – “Yes, there was. The Prosecutor General repeatedly stated that the act of the governmental committee was nothing more but a document in the file.”
It seemed to me that our conversation was over on an optimistic point. He said that the fact that the governmental committee was finishing its work did not at all mean that the investigation was over with too. However, as we can see, there is a strong contradiction to the investigation. The cowardice of officials and military men is capable of burying any openness.
Vitaly Cherkasov PRAVDA.Ru Volgograd
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov