#PutinKills Commander Yuri Schepetnov

Sep 24 2015

Family photos and old postcards with warm greetings arranged like leaves in Fall– that’s all what was left for parents to remember of Commander Yuri Schepetnov, who died on the Kursk.

Their choice – to become Navy officers – brothers Yuri and Alexander had made in their childhood. They had the example of their father, a resigned officer, who once survived by some miracle after a deadly explosion on the Novorossiysk battleship happened on a dark night of October 29, 1955. He was decorated with the Order of Valor for his actions back then.

When on August 12, 2000 Russians were shocked by news of the Kursk accident, Liudmila Schepetnova did not know that her husband Yura was there. He, a first-class missile operator, was assigned to the submarine temporarily, just for the several days of the Navy training. But she felt something had happened and went to Vidiaevo naval base, where she learned the horrible news.

Now Liudmila with her daughter lives at her parents’ place in Kiev region, in Ukraine, where Yura’s unfinished house is kept.

Schepetnov’s mother utters the bitter words: “It feels like they took everything from me”! She still cannot believe that her son will never come back, and there will be no new photos of this smiling, cheerful officer.

On August 12, 2000, the Kursk submarine sank in the Barents Sea during a massive Russian Navy summer exercise. It was the first military exercise at such a large scale after the collapse of the Soviet Union. All 118 sailor, officers, and civilian contractors on board were killed.

Two explosions occurred on the submarine were registered by nearby ships, and the second was powerful enough to register by seismographs even in Alaska.

The Russian Navy didn’t recognize the submarine had sunk for more than six hours. It took 16 hours to locate the sunken vessel. The Russian government mislead and manipulated the public and media, and refused international help. The assistance from the UK and Norway was accepted only on the fifth day of the rescue operation. On the seventh day, Norwegian divers finally opened a hatch of the ship and found it flooded. Analysts later concluded that 23 sailors had survived the initial explosions for more than six hours.

The Russian Navy tried to cover-up the accident and offered a variety of reasons for the submarine’s sinking including blaming it on a collision with a NATO ship. However, the most cynical explanation was given by Russian President Vladimir Putin in “Larry King Live” show (“It sank”).

Russian President and Commander in Chief Vladimir Putin was vacationing on the Black Sea when the Kursk tragedy happened. #PutinKills – because he didn’t care about people’s lives. He unwillingly interrupted his leisure time to deal with the issue. His Navy wasn’t ready for the rescue operation. Everything was done slowly and in an inefficient manner. And there were endless cover-ups and lies. Putin blamed the media in discrediting Russia and used the tragedy to continue his attack on the independent media.

Act now! Join our campaign to tell people that #PutinKills!

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