DATE=8/16/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=JANES / RUSSIAN SUB (L-ONLY)(CQ) NUMBER=2-265564 BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Military expert Paul Beaver of "Jane's Defense Weekly" believes the chances of saving the lives of the sailors on board the crippled Russian submarine at the bottom of the Barents Sea are slim at best. And as V-O-A's Nick Simeone reports, Mr. Beaver says national pride kept Moscow from asking for international help earlier in attempting a rescue. TEXT: Paul Beaver believes a catastrophic event must have occurred on board the Russian submarine, Kursk -- something more serious than Russia is admitting to. He says it probably has already taken the lives of some of the crew. /// BEAVER ACT /// All the indications are of a submarine that has been wrecked. It has everything that you would expect if a missile or a torpedo had hit that submarine and I think that's what happened. One of their torpedoes, or missiles or warheads exploded actually inside the submarine. /// END ACT /// Despite Russia's own attempts to save the crew -- if in fact crewmembers are still alive -- Mr. Beaver believes the deteriorating state of Russia's navy means it probably does not have the proper equipment to mount an effective rescue. With bad weather and the Kursk reported to be listing at about 60 degrees, the mission may even be too complicated for a British mini-submarine that's en route to the area. /// BEAVER ACT /// Now that [the British rescue sub] has the capability of docking with this submarine irrespective of the angle it's at. So it probably is a better tool for it than any other rescue submarine that is available at the moment. But I think they'll have problems even with that because of the currents. /// END ACT /// The sinking of the Kursk has got to be a humiliation for the Russian government, and another sign of the deteriorating state of its military -- which, since the end of the Cold War, has been unable to pay troops or maintain equipment. The Kursk was one of Russia's newest submarines. Paul Beaver thinks Moscow may have wanted to avoid the embarrassment of the world seeing a once mighty military pushed beyond its limits. /// BEAVER ACT /// If you have a navy and you are taught that your navy is the best in the world, you're then going to try and do things yourself. Sadly, they didn't have that capability. That has resulted, or may have well resulted, in a number of deaths. /// END ACT /// Russia's deputy prime minister (Ilya Klebanov) now says there is no sign of life on board the sub, where oxygen levels and temperatures must both be falling with every passing hour. The British submarine en route to the Kursk appears to be the best hope of saving whatever lives there may still be left to save. (SIGNED) NEB/NJS/JP 16-Aug-2000 17:11 PM LOC (16-Aug-2000 2111 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .