Kursk Down: The Shocking True Story of the Sinking of a Russian Nuclear Submarine

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We have made this decision as a result of the accident. None of us can get out. Today, the world finally heard Captain Kolesnikov's message after Russian divers recovered his remains from the husk of the submarine, and the note was found stuffed in his pocket. The revelation that 23 of the Kursk's crewmen survived the sinking, at least for a while, set off a sensation and demolished assurances by senior military officials that the Kursk's entire crew most likely had perished within minutes of the accident.

And it instantly reignited a national debate over whether the military's attempt to rescue the sailors, widely denounced as botched, was fatally flawed as well.

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It also raised the prospect that divers would find more notes -- perhaps containing evidence as to why the submarine exploded and sank -- when and if bodies of other survivors are recovered. It was the head of the Russian Navy's northern fleet, Vice Adm. Mikhail Motsak, who described the note from Captain Kolesnikov, 27, whose rank would be comparable to a lieutenant in the American Navy.

The captain was one of four sailors whose bodies have been retrieved since recovery operations began on Saturday. Admiral Motsak refused to release the entire message, which he said contained a ''very private'' farewell message to the captain's family. But the excerpt printed by the semiofficial Itar-Tass news agency, with its reference to 23 survivors, offered a gripping, if brief, glimpse of the situation aboard the doomed vessel as it lay more than feet below the ocean surface.

At a candle-lighting ceremony today in Vidyayevo, the seaside village where most of the Kursk crew lived and raised families, Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov, the commander of the Russian Navy, said the captain's message began legibly, as if written in a lighted room. But by its end, he said, it was a nearly illegible scrawl written, the note indicated, ''by feel. Russian submarines are equipped with suits designed to protect sailors during such underwater escapes.

Norwegian divers who opened that escape hatch nine days after the disaster found that the air lock was filled with water. That led the navy to abandon all efforts to find anyone alive, and to turn its attention to recovering the dead. But the ninth compartment might have remained dry for weeks, even up until rescuers entered it. Today's revelation-- and others, perhaps yet to come -- may pump new energy into what is already a national catharsis. More than simply a shared tragedy, the Kursk disaster psychologically staggered many here who seemed to feel that Russia's last bragging rights -- to technological excellence, to military competence, to first-tier global status -- went down with the biggest and most fearsome boat in its submarine arsenal.

The accident quickly generated a public excoriation of the Kremlin, President Vladimir V. Putin and the military, followed by a backlash against the West. Military leaders insist with growing conviction that the Kursk was sunk by a collision with a Western submarine and not, as some experts speculate, by flaws in a new Russian torpedo propulsion system. This week, the recovery of the sailors' bodies has dominated television news, with dramatic video from the sea floor and long lists of hot lines where relatives and the curious can keep up with the latest discoveries.

Today's bombshell seemed certain to reopen still-fresh wounds, starting with the question of whether the navy could have rescued those entombed in the sunken submarine in the hours after it sank. View all New York Times newsletters. The Kursk was participating in a naval exercise in the Barents Sea, off Russia's northwest coast, when an explosion thudded in its bow about a.

Two minutes and 15 seconds later -- as measured by nearby American intelligence vessels and a seismic station in Norway -- a huge blast, registering a magnitude of 3. By American accounts, the Kursk revved its turbines after the first blast, apparently trying to reach the surface, then plunged to the seabed after the second. Admiral Motsak said Captain Kolesnikov had written his message between p. That suggested that at a minimum, he and 22 other crewmen survived nearly four hours after the explosions.


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There was no explanation of why Itar-Tass's version of the note stated that it was written at p. I have no clue if the story is accurate or not not when I read some other reviews but to me it just didn't really matter as I watched this movie to be entertained and entertaining it was.

I vaguely remember the details when the drama happened for real but the details that I remembered were all present in this movie. Personally I would have used the real languages of the characters instead of making a full English spoken movie. I'm sorry but when you have an entire Russian crew you expect them to speak Russian and not English.

I'm a Belgian and used to read subtitles so that was what I was expecting. Matthias Schoenaerts, definitely one of my favorite Belgian actors did another good job playing his character. There are no weak moments in Kursk what makes this story a captivating movie. And whatever the accuracy of details are the fact that so many people lost their lives because of the stubborness of their superiors is just a big shame. Like in any other war the high ranked never risk anything, they get the praising in case of victories, and are never to blame if something goes wrong, so for that it's all well accurate to me.

AudioFileZ 3 March Most know about the Kursk incident yet know little otherwise. A terrible Cold War accident in which one of Russia's cutting edge subs sank due to an internal explosion - with survivors. The surviving crew was detected by the Russians who wouldn't ask for crucial help in the short window of saving those still alive.

Well it's not a project such as The International Space Station - vastly different long-standing veils of secrecy dictate the Russian's inept posturing and faulty decisions. This is the story we haven't, mostly, been aware of. It's chilling as it depicts the human cost. This movie seems to pull few punches and doesn't bow to Hollywood-like bombast. It isn't meant to entertain so much as to enlighten with respectful homage given the crew. It succeeds and is a film that is easy to highly recommend. If you ever felt claustrophobic in a submarine tour this movie would be quite distressing.

Seeing the cold dark wet and suffering they endured makes you wonder why anyone would voluntarily have a life on a sub. The true story of the Kursk tragedy is vividly brought to the screen by Luc Besson. It's so frustrating how the responsible people delayed accepting help that could have saved them.

Matthias looks like a famous Russian so good casting. Lea Seydoux even looks fat for the role of pregnant wife. Worth a watch. First hunter killer and now this. Well this one was mostly based on rescuing a crew stuck in a submarine. Two different story line but it has submarines and we don't see a lot of submarine movies. I like the story. The cast did a good job. Honestly i thought the survivors would make it. This just shows how much drama takes place behind the scene when carrying an operation like this.

Sad it lead this ending.

Russian Submarine Kursk World's Largest Submarine - Kursk Submarine Story & Disaster

If you are wondering if this is worth your time. I would say yes. It is a great movie and it won't disappoint. I remember watching the tragedy unfurl in real time when I was in the Russian army. The film is enjoyable. Kursk offers excellent production values, cinematography and performances, but falls victim to its own conceit in attempting to interweave muddled, inconsistent political statements, resulting in a film that alternates between tense action and maudlin sentimentality.

The plot description on IMDb states, "As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them. The Russian bureaucracy is presented again, again and again as obstinate and deceitful, leaving one to wonder if the filmmakers are attempting to make a statement about contemporary claims of Russian interference and hegemony. Although framed as a tragedy, the film isn't in the classical sense of a noble hero brought to ruin by a personal flaw.

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However, there is a tragic element in a recurring plot device concerning timepieces which in a minor way impedes the protagonist's ability to perform his duties. In the denouement, this device is woven into an apparent call out to the Resist! A scene evocative of the Sermon on the Mount seems to advocate income redistribution.


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  • Yet, these apparent efforts to espouse liberal political ideologies are confused by other elements. The disaster is exacerbated by the Russian Navy's failure to properly maintain its fleet, suggesting more money should have been spent on the military. The Russian military is depicted as ineffective and a theme is that all sailors are brothers, regardless of nationality, possibly suggesting that we should consider Russia a potential ally, rather than our natural enemy.

    The movie joins a large group of recent films that seem compelled to make political statements at the expense of plot and character development. It could have been a much more effective thriller by focusing on the disaster and the efforts by the crew to overcome impossible odds. Alternatively, it could have been a melodrama, focusing on the efforts of the wives to persuade intransigent bureaucrats, particularly Max von Sydow's Petrenko, to admit failure and take the moral high ground instead of blind obsequiousness to party dogma.

    I love submarine movies so Kursk received a higher rating from me. The movie spends quite a bit of time on building the fictional character development of the crew, leaning heavily on creative licence, drama and sensationalism. The Russians and US news media are well known for their dishonesty, we will never have a clear account of what caused this or why the crew was left to die.

    This isn't an account of history, nor is it a documentary. The lighting, set decorating, acting and directing are great. Nearby ships registered the initial explosion and a second, much larger, explosion which registered 4. By the time it declared an emergency 11 hours later, the crew were-unknown to anyone all dead. This is the film of the events leading up to the disaster, the crews attempts to survive on the bottom of the ocean, the governments denials that an accident had even occurred and the families attempts to find out what had happened to their husbands, fathers, sons and or lovers.

    Regrets of arguments had before the submarine leaving, a wedding and a new bride coming to terms with Explaining to sons and daughters their fathers aren't coming home and all the way through the government denying. During this time the story will take you on a roller coaster of ups and downs, good news followed by bad news, how other countries offered to help including the British but none being accepted which resulted in the innocent deaths of all sailors.

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    My biggest problem with this film is simply this, it's set in Russia on a Russian submarine with Russian sailors trying to survive and their Russian families on land trying to find out from the Russian government what has happened and what will happen to rescue them but it's in English!

    As this is a true story why not use Russian actors? If you watch this film I'd seriously advise you get rid of any kind of distraction because the fear of the sailors and their families deserve your full attention. RIP all What a waste of human life just because of their governments pride. Rating 8 out of Deathtrolls 22 November I was able to watch the movie at the limited edition theater with a few historian war buffs and we all agreed this movie tells most if not all the main events of the Kursk.

    I was only 20 years old when Kursk happen and couldn't imagine some of these men about my age are stuck and drowned in the submarine and forgotten by their government by Putin. This movie is to be watched with an open mind because seriously we certainly don't know what the survivors did in the submarine but I'm sure they had high hopes of knowing rescue will come. Other then that, this movie is true to it's core and I hope the navies of the world will take heed to prevent this from happening ever again. I can't help the feeling this is an attempt to apply a narrative onto a tragedy.

    Do we even know what really happened there? Would the US or any EU state allow Russia to save a submarine that has experimental weapons, state secrets, on board?

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    As a movie, it isn't half bad and if this were about a generic, fictional accident, I would give it a 6 or 7, but as an obvious attempt to present a narrative as objective history, villifying a nation that acted no different than any other would in the same situation, this gets a 2 from me. Above all this film is very human.

    It appears both a criticism on humanity society - at one point or another and human frailty, and an uplifting story at the same time to show the best of humanity and humans as a whole. Their fears, courage, anger, hope, et cetera.

    Kursk Down! : The Shocking True Story of the Sinking of a Russian Nuclear Submarine

    On the whole it seems to follow the best of classic Russian literature in its themes. Factual this film is not.


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    • Up to a point. The happenings aboard ship are mostly speculative. In this sense it follows other sea-disaster films such as Titanic. Politically sensitive perhaps, given the current Russian political climate, in relation to the west. But this film does not deserve to become a political tool for any side in the new cold war more tepid, if you ask me, anyway. At worst, or best, this film is a single insight into how the Russia of today became the Russia it is today. What will stay with me is the 90 year old Max von Sydow in his semi- villain role.

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      He truly embodies his part. With only two Academy Award nominations to his name, I do hope he receives a lifetime achievement award before he leaves us hopefully many years from now. Regretfully one of the last greats. Best wishes and high regards. As a film, this seems to be a mostly Wallonian production? It makes me wonder what influence Luc Besson had? First, The sinking was in August The Russian subs used at the Titanic which is referenced in this movie during the failed rescue scene never occurred in that year. Did anyone research this or just tossed in this inaccuracy for more filler?

      The move is great in my opinion must be in russian language.

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      AziziOthmanMY 23 February


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