PETER YERMILIN: SPACE PHOTO OF THE "KURSK" MURDERER IS NOT A FORGERY. INVESTIGATION BY A PRAVDA.RU READER - 31 December, 2000

We'd like to remind you that as long ago as August 22, PRAVDA.Ru pointed out in its material "World War III Could Break out on Sunday" that the collision of the two submarines could provoke an acutest political conflict between Russia and the USA.

More than a month later, the weekly "Version" and then Lenta.Ru, which cooks information hamburgers, decided to ask themselves the same questions as ourselves. While doing so, the "Version" published a space photo of the Norwegian naval base "Khokonsvern" with the American "Memphis" submarine that came there for urgent repairs.

Incidentally, the journalists of the newspaper, who found a confirmation of the version, formerly voiced by PRAVDA.Ru, have been dragged of late through law-enforcement bodies, demanding that they disclose the way they managed to receive a documentary photo of the Norwegian base. In the beginning of November, the press secretary of the Norwegian base "Khokonsvern" says in an interview with the NTV channel of Vladimir Gusinskki, who is presently hiding in Britain, that the shot, published by the "Version", is a forgery.

The officer substantiates it with the fact that the "Oslo" frigate next to "Memphis" in the photo sank as long ago as in 1994. Hence, as is stressed by the press secretary of the military base which is part of the North Atlantic Alliance's system, the photo of this frigate, featured by the newspaper "Version", could not be made later than 6 years prior to the loss of "Kursk". The argument appears to be fairly strong.

The thing is, however, that the same press secretary stated at about the same time that "Memphis", as it turns out, came in "Khokonsvern" on a "planned" basis, and that the repairs of "Memphis" were planned as far back as three months prior to the events in question. The fact that this version "managed to originate" in minds of the military personnel of the base only a month and a half after the western mass media reported about the need for "Memphis" to have urgent repairs, should be left to NATO bosses for them to judge about the inborn quick wits of their subordinates.

The argument, that the photo is a forgery, is strong enough mainly for the public. PRAVDA.Ru reader Dmitri Pronin has proved one of those who are not satisfied with the speeches of officials. He has carried out an investigation of his own, based on Internet sites, and discovered that the Norwegian frigate named "Oslo" actually sank in 1994.

The point is, however, that it is not that concrete frigate that is meant but… a class of the Norwegian ships bearing this name. Anyway, a whole photo gallery of frigates of this class is on the Internet site of the Norwegian naval forces.Thus, the press secretary of the Norwegian military base appears to have told elementary lies, claiming that the photo, published by the "Version", can not be true as the frigate in the picture is sunk. One is sunk, indeed. But how many frigates of this class still remain?