12 August 2020

2020-08-12 MEMORY ETERNAL. Twenty Years Since the Kursk Submarine Disaster

Twenty years ago, on 12 August 2000, the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Kursk was lost in the Barents Sea.

Units of the Northern Fleet carried out rescue efforts from 13 August to 24 August, but they were unable to save the crew. All 118 officers and sailors on board the Kursk perished.

In those days, when there was still a glimmer of hope that at least one of the sailors had managed to survive, a Hierarchical Council of the Russian Orthodox Church was being held in Moscow, which canonized the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and a host of other New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. On August 16, 2000, the Imperial Family arrived in Moscow for the canonization services and the consecration of the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

The fullness of the Holy Church prayed in unison for the sailors. When it became clear that none of the crew had survived, the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, sent her personal condolences to the families and friends of those who had been lost.*

On this sorrowful anniversary, Her Imperial Highness and her son and heir H.I.H. The Tsesarevich and Grand Duke George of Russia, offer fervent prayers to God for the sailors who gave their lives in the performance of their duty to the nation.


For a list of the sailors lost on the Kursk (in Russian), see: https://www.murman.ru/kurskmem/crewr.htm


*Text of Her Imperial Highness’s letter of condolence:


I was deeply shocked to learn of the loss of the entire crew of the submarine Kursk, and I and my family pray for the repose of the souls of all those who have perished. I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of these brave submariners, who gave their lives in the performance of their duty.

[The original is signed in H.I.H.’s own hand:]


H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia


22 August 2000


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