Secret Russian sub mission mystery widens after bizarre comments at sailors’ funeral

Something quite peculiar took place deep beneath the Barents Sea last week, and Russia isn’t exactly lining up to explain to the world the nature of the mishap.

What we know so far is that 14 sailors have died, allegedly from the intoxicating fumes of a fire within a secret Russian submarine.  Every shred of evidence beyond that has remained unverified thanks to the Kremlin designating that information a “state secret”.

Of course, this is nothing new for Moscow, whose machinations are almost invariably clouded in some form of clandestine secrecy.

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Today, through the eulogies provided during the funeral of these 14 sailors, we did discover one new tidbit of information about the incident – and it’s a doozy.

A top Russian naval officer said that the 14 Russian sailors who died in a fire aboard a secretive Russian submarine last week sacrificed themselves to prevent a “catastrophe” on a planetary scale, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing Russian media reports.

“With their lives,” the unnamed Russian officer said at a funeral in St. Petersburg, “they saved the lives of their colleagues, saved the vessel and prevented a planetary catastrophe.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said he was unaware of the officer’s comments, denied that there was any risk of a broader threat.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last week that the submarine’s nuclear reactor survived the fire because the crew took “necessary measures” to protect it, the Independent reported.

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The belief among the media, both Russian and otherwise, is that the submarine in question was a nuclear powered research vessel whose purpose was to survey international deep sea equipment, including the communication cables that allow the internet to exist at all.

The “catastrophe” within the unnamed officer’s speech was not explained, leading many to believe that the sub’s nuclear reactor may have been compromised.  Norwegian officials have not detected any anomalous radiation readings in the area of incident.

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