The Fatal Dive

Moscow's hopes for a revival of its navy go down with the catastrophic sinking of a nuclear sub

For Captain Gennadi Lyachin and nearly a score of others crowded into the control room of the nuclear submarine Kursk, Saturday, Aug. 12, was to be a day of pride and triumph. The vessel, one of the Russian navy's newest and most powerful cruise-missile submarines, was at periscope depth during the second day of a 30-ship exercise in the Barents Sea, about 90 miles northeast of Murmansk. These were the biggest Russian naval maneuvers in several years, and it was a rare opportunity for Lyachin to put his boat through its paces with a full-scale task force--so rare that five high-ranking...

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