On August 12, 2000, during one of the most important military demonstrations in post-Soviet history, an enormous explosion sank Russia's most prized nuclear submarine, the Kursk. When Vladmir Putin's men failed to rescue the 118 young submariners trapped under the icy Barents Sea and refused timely help from "foreigners" for four days, the Russian president assured his angry nation that all the men had died within minutes of the blasts. An earlier rescue would not have changed anything.
Two months later, recovery divers brought up the dead submarine's first twelve bodies, one of which had a soggy note clinging to the burned remnants of his breast pocket. Addressed to his wife, it read:
There are twenty-three of us here ... None of us can get to the surface. Let's hope someone will read this. Don't despair. -- Kolesnikov
The "Kolesnikov Note" became the cry from the depths of Russia's tormented soul, as an anguished people confronted their government about what matters more -- guarding secrets and pride or protecting human life.
What were Russian officials thinking when they waited forty-eight hours to acknowledge that their most treasured submarine was in trouble? Why did they track the desperate tapping noises that seemed to be coming from the sub without sending an international SOS?
For a world community still mystified by deadly Russian deceits surrounding the Kursk submarine disaster, Cry from the Deep solves the riddles once and for all. What emerges from Flynn's exhaustive reporting is the definitive account of this pivotal moment in Russia's rocky emergence into the community of free nations.
By turns thrilling, heart-wrenching, and absorbing, Cry from the Deep exposes the truths behind an event that riveted the world, devastated and enraged the Russian people, and ultimately defined a new era of Russian politics.
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Ramsey Flynn, the winner of a National Magazine Award for reporting, is a former staff writer for the Washingtonian and chief editor of Baltimore magazine. His stories have also appeared in Esquire, Reader's Digest, Men's Journal, and Philadelphia. He lives outside Baltimore with his wife and two young sons.From Publishers Weekly:
A gripping and gruesome tale, this book is a superb account of the loss of the Russian submarine Kursk off northern Russia in August 2000. Long-range torpedoes fueled with hydrogen peroxide exploded in succession, which sank the submarine; a fifth of the crew of 118 survived the explosions, but probably did not last more than another eight hours. The Russian Northern Fleet failed to recognize the signs of an accident, failed to take any sort of constructive action with its limited resources, failed to inform political superiors, and didn't allow any cooperation with the efficient rescue gear of the NATO navies. Russian officials were then caught by the independent Russian media in several outright lies, which made for further scandal. Not that Western authorities were much more on the ball—the American and British embassies were left in the dark for several days—but the whole tragedy of errors profoundly embarrassed the newly elected Putin regime. Flynn has researched exhaustively in already crowded territory, interviewed widely and written clearly, leaving very little room for rumor, innuendo or propaganda (he definitely rules out any collision with a NATO submarine, for example).
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