No irregular situations arose on board of the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk before the moment the explosion went off, the submarine was moving at periscope depth, and the crew were getting ready for a torpedo attack drill.
Prosecutor General of Russia Vladimir Ustinov said this at a press conference in Moscow on Friday following the results of the investigation that established the cause of the accident on the submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000.
Ustinov said that the investigation had "no doubt" that the cause of the Kursk's sinking was an explosion in the torpedo compartment. More than 2,000 investigatory actions were carried out, over 1,200 witnesses were questioned, and 8,000 exhibits -- documents, fragments of armaments and structural elements of the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk -- were inspected.
The prosecutor general dealt with the reports on the trouble on the platform to which are attached the rescue craft that appeared right after the tragedy. He said that the results of the expert examinations confirmed that the platform was subjected to mechanical strain that prevented the joining of the rescue apparatus.
"If it were not for the mechanical damage resulting from the explosion, the rescue craft would have docked," said Ustinov. The Prosecutor General recalled that the corresponding tests of the rescue apparatuses are carried out on all vessels.
Vladimir Ustinov specially noted the heroism and selflessness of the submariners, who acted in close coordination right after the explosions and prevented a man-caused disaster."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969