Russian Navy veterans and authorities in Russia’s Kursk region are gathering on August 12 with relatives of the 118 Kursk submarine sailors who perished in 2000 beneath the Barents Sea.
Commemorations marking the 15th anniversary of the Kursk submarine tragedy include a wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II memorial where many of the sailors are buried.
The ballistic-missile submarine malfunctioned and sank beneath the surface of the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, about 175 kilometers from Severomorsk after two explosions in its forward weapons bay.
Crew members who survived the explosions died inside the hull of the submarine after shutting down the ship’s nuclear reactor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's government at the time was criticized for its slow response and initial refusal to accept international offers of help with rescue efforts.
All of the crew were posthumously awarded Russia’s Order of Courage and the captain was posthumously awarded the title Hero Of The Russia Federation.