The accident at the nuclear AS-12 "Losharik" submersible, one of the Russian navy's most secret projects, raises many questions about the causes of the disaster, and the actual tasks the crew were fulfilling in the Barents Sea.
Moreover, Russian media are coming up with more and more versions regarding the Losharik's mission, the BelarusPartisan news outlet wrote.
It is not surprising that the most popular now are the versions suggesting very specific works, like placing at the bottom of the Barents Sea of the devices aimed to counter the American SOSUS anti-submarine system.
Such a version was voiced not only by the Russian Lenta.ru, but also by the U.S. Naval Institute.
It might as well be the case that the AS-12 was installing a Russian positional underwater observation system “Harmony”, which is an analog of SOSUS.
In turn, the Izvestia newspaper adheres to the version of the research mission to study the seabed, currents, and depths.
But much more realistic is the version of working out the interaction of various weapons systems, in particular, the imitation of the Poseidon submarine project with Losharik using the carrier boat, such as, for example, the BS-136 Orenburg.
It is this version of events that the Russian defense ministry's “Krasnaya Zvezda” newspaper spins, or span, to be more precise, since the article was soon deleted from the website.
This only suggests that the editors actually released a report which they never should have without consulting with the authorities.
Nevertheless, almost all media agree that the AS-12 is not a research submersible, while its function was to perform specific operations in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zones of other countries.
However, a common feature of all versions, which is seen through the information noise, is that the "Losharik" and its crew, most likely consisting of officers of the naval special operations forces, was deployed to perform some kind of secret operation or prepare for it.
This version of the special operation in foreign territorial waters has solid grounds to be voiced because Russia has already practiced sabotage operations more than once, for example, in the waters of Norway.
Recall the mining of oil drilling platforms in the waters of the North and Norwegian Seas, carried out in the summer of 1991 by a team of Baltic Fleet combat swimmers brought to the site of the operation by the hydrographic vessel GS-301. Interestingly, the crew of the GS-301 consisted of 15 people. This is noted by the Russian Kont outlet in the context of the tragedy with the Losharik crew.
Given the overall secrecy around the accident, it will not be surprising if in reality it turns out that the AS-12 mission was in fact an aggressive act in relation to one of Russia's maritime neighbors.