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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Russia remembers Kursk disaster
Russian WWII veterans during the unveiling of the monument in Moscow
No-one has been found responsible for the disaster
The 118 sailors who died in the Kursk nuclear submarine have been remembered on the second anniversary of the disaster in solemn ceremonies across Russia.


Two years have passed, but none of us have forgotten

Captain Andrei Shatorenko

In the northern port of Vidyayevo, where the crew was based, relatives of the dead laid wreaths at a new black granite memorial, representing the torn bridge of a submarine, and threw red carnations into the Barents Sea.

Others joined Russian government ministers and senior naval officers at a ceremony in Moscow, where a bronze statue of a sailor standing over a submarine stuck on the ocean floor was unveiled.

Despite widespread expectations, no appearance was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was heavily criticised two years ago for refusing to cut his holiday short to travel to the scene of the disaster.

Pain remains

The captain of the Northern Fleet, Andrei Shatorenko, told weeping onlookers the tragedy had taken away the nation's best seamen.

The Moscow monument to the Kursk submariners
Ceremonies were held across the country
"This is a statue devoted to heroism and grief," he said.

"We lived in the same city. We enjoyed the same jokes and suffered through the same heartaches.

"Two years have passed, but none of us have forgotten."

Grieving relatives also visited the Serafimovsky cemetery in St Petersburg, where 32 of the sailors had been laid to rest.

One of the sailor's mothers, Lyudmila Milutina said: "The pain will never go away. I feel the same pain as two years ago, and I fear that a similar tragedy can touch other families in the years to come."

No blame

The Kursk sank on 12 August 2000 during naval exercises in the Barents Sea. It was the worst submarine disaster in Russia's peacetime history.

The official report into the disaster concluded that a faulty torpedo caused an explosion which then detonated other ammunition on board.

But many of the sailors' families are still unhappy with the results of the investigation, which concluded that no-one was to blame.

The criminal investigation was also dropped, with no charges brought.

Some of the relatives call the inquiry a cover-up, and are trying to sue the Russian Navy for the death of their sons and husbands.

They strongly believe that someone should take responsibility for the tragedy.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Caroline Wyatt
"It was a low key ceremony"
The Kursk submarine accident

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27 Jul 02 | Media reports
26 Jul 02 | Europe
26 Apr 02 | Europe
23 Mar 02 | Europe
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