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DATE=8/19/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIAN SUB (L-UPDATE) NUMBER=2-265647 BYLINE=LAURIE KASSMAN DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: British and Norwegian rescue teams are racing toward the accident site in the Barents Sea where a Russian nuclear submarine plunged to the bottom a week ago. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from Moscow that Russian rescue efforts so far have failed to gain access to the 118 sailors aboard the Kursk. TEXT: Russian officials are not even waiting for the British and Norwegian teams to arrive at the accident site. They have been ferried out by helicopter to the two ships as they approach the area. The officials want to discuss coordination of the rescue efforts. All week, Russian teams have been desperately trying to gain access to the sunken submarine to evacuate any survivors. But a film of the ship indicates extensive damage that would have claimed many victims. Hope is diminishing of finding anyone alive. There has been no sound of life from the submarine Kursk since earlier in the week. Now a roll call of the crew has appeared on Russian television, almost like a memorial. Russian Officials had said oxygen supplies on board the Kursk would run out by Friday, but then suggested they might hold for a few extra days. A navy spokesman now describes the situation as "beyond critical." Relatives of the crew now have gathered near the nuclear fleet's home port. Public anger has been simmering all week over the government's handling of the crisis. Newspaper editorials continue to lash out at President Vladimir Putin -- once seen by most Russians as a man of action. Now Russians complain about his relative silence at his seaside holiday resort and his delay in accepting foreign help. Mr. Putin finally returned to the Kremlin early Saturday morning, a week after disaster struck the Kursk. Russian officials insist the accident was caused by a collision but there is no evidence of what the ship may have hit. Military experts and the commander of the Northern Fleet suspect an explosion in the ship's torpedo compartment. Seismologists in Norway also say they detected two explosions last Saturday in the Barents Sea just where the Kursk was participating in military training exercises. (Signed) NEB/LK/DW/JP 19-Aug-2000 09:04 AM LOC (19-Aug-2000 1304 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .