Remembrance services are being held across Russia to mark the fifth anniversary of the Kursk submarine disaster.
All 118 sailors died in the Barents Sea after a torpedo exploded on board the nuclear vessel while it was carrying out maneouvres. In the town of Kursk, a monument was unveiled to commemorate the victims. A solemn ceremony was also held at Vidyayevo, near Murmansk, the base where the Kursk used to have its home. Flags on navy ships and submarines flew at half-mast and sailors observed a minute’s silence. The anniversary has taken on extra significance coming a week after the dramatic rescue of a Russian mini-sub from the Pacific. The high-profile international effort to free the trapped vessel raised questions about why, five years on from the Kursk, Russia still has no modern deep-sea rescue equipment. Moscow launched a rescue mission, but refused foreign assistance. Officials also found it difficult to admit the true scale of the disaster. Critics say despite the tragedy and the unprecedented government inquiry, the military has still failed to implement serious reforms.