The Russian authorities recently acknowledged for the First time that the sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk was not caused by a collision with a foreign submarine. Following the explosions that sent the boat to the bottom of the Barents Sea on 12 August 2000, Russian officials stressed that the torpedo detonations were caused by a collision, most likely with one of two U.S. nuclear-propelled attack submarines in the area at the time.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov stated that investigators have discovered no evidence of an external impact on the hull. The Interfax-Military News Agency reported that the Russian government will be ready to make an announcement on the official cause of the sinking by mid-2002.
"By that time," Klebanov was quoted as saying, "we want to lift the fragments of the first compartment that interest us, or the entire first compartment." The shattered bow section was severed from the main portion of the hull before the lift to avoid the danger of unexploded torpedoes that remained in the wreckage.