17th Anniversary of the Kursk submarine disaster (PHOTOS)

The disaster killed all 118 personnel on board

Residents of St. Petersburg have paid homage to sailors from the Kursk nuclear submarine, which sank in the Barents Sea exactly 17 years earlier.


Relatives and friends of crew members gathered for a memorial service and a commemorative meeting on August 12 at St. Petersburg’s Serafimovskoye Cemetery.

epa04350458 A relative of 3rd rank Captain Nikolai Belosorov kisses his tombstone at the Serafimovskoye cemetery during the memorial ceremony on the 14th anniversary of the Kursk submarine tragedy, in St. Petersburg, Russia, 12 August 2014. Nuclear submarine 'Kursk' sank in Barents Sea taking the lives of 118 sailors on 12 August 2000.  EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

On Aug. 12, 2000 as a result of a catastrophe during a Russian naval exercise in the Barents Sea, the K-141 Kursk submarine sank to a depth of 108 meters. K-141 Kursk was an Oscar-II class nuclear-powered cruise-missile submarine. Its construction started in 1992 in the Russian city of Severodvinsk and was first launched in 1994. K-141 was deployed to the Mediterranean during the summer of 1999 to monitor the U.S fleet responding to the war in Kosovo.

epa04350073 (FILE) An undated file picture of the fated 'Kursk' submarine in her mooring in the base of Vidyayevo, Russia. The Russian nuclear powered submarine sank after a number of explosions occured on 12 August 2000. All of the 118 men on board died.  EPA/STR

On Aug. 12, 2000 the first major Russian naval exercise took place in a very long time. Kursk was loaded with 24 SS-N-19/P-700 Granit “Shipwreck” cruise missiles and 24 torpedoes. Due to faulty welding on a 65–76 “Kit” practice torpedo, an explosion of high-test peroxide occurred involving five to seven torpedo warheads, causing the sub to sink 175 km off the coast of Severomorsk. The disaster killed all 118 personnel on board, including the submarine captain Leonid Lyachin.


On Aug. 22, President Vladimir Putin issued an executive order declaring Aug. 23 a day of mourning.


The Kursk was raised from the bottom of the Barents Sea in 2001.


Sources: rferl.org, rbth.com