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The State Duma

Speech of the Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko in the State Duma on establishing an independent commission to investigate the accident with the «Kursk» submarine

September 15, 2000

Respected Deputies, A group of deputies representing the factions Yabloko, the SPS, “Fatherland – All Russia” and the deputies’ group “Russia’s Regions” hereby submits a draft resolution on establishing a special parliamentary commission to investigate developments with the «Kursk» submarine. We insist on the foundation of an independent public deputies’ commission to investigate the circumstances behind the death of our sailors.

This commission must be independent of the military authorities, the government and other executive authorities. We do not think that the task of this commission should be to uncover the guilty parties or draft some organisational conclusions. Instead, its main task is to examine the reasons for the extreme vulnerability of our political system as a whole, its inability to react properly to emergencies and its total indifference to the lives and health of the people.

We want to stress that we are especially concerned about the helplessness demonstrated by the political institutions of the executive authority in a situation of national and international significance. The obvious absurdity or mercenary contradictoriness and cynicism of the structures in charge - this very fact rather than the tragedy itself - created conditions bordering on a political crisis in the country.

A question emerges: how can these structures be vested with the main powers for this investigation? What grounds are there to presume that the inclusion of two or three deputies in this commission will enable it to conduct honest and objective analysis? There is no such certainty. Moreover, there is certainty of the opposite. In our opinion, we need to analyse the data from many sources to comprehensively and fully ascertain what actually happened.

The issue needs to be investigated from different aspects, including information from the people who prepared the submarine for its last voyage, who were responsible for its fighting capacity and can tell a lot. One commission, moreover a commission of the executive authorities, will not

suffice, as it is not simply an investigation of a historic even that has already taken place. This is first of all an attempt to avert such events in future. This is the main thing, as there is a high probability of this occurrence. Such a commission must also, in our opinion, investigate the

issues of financing and military preparedness training, machinery and equipment, everything necessary to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Thank you.

See also:

The situation around "Kursk" submarine

September 15, 2000

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