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DATE=8/23/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA SUB (L UPDATE) NUMBER=2-265773 BYLINE=LAURIE KASSMAN DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised compensation to relatives of the 118 sailors who died aboard the Kursk nuclear submarine more than a week ago. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from Moscow that Russians are observing a national day of mourning. TEXT: ///SOUND OF CHURCH SERVICE AND FADE/// Special church services are being held to remember the sailors of the Kursk submarine. Flags are flying at half-mast. Regular T-V and radio programs have taken on a somber tone as Russians observe a national day of mourning. A special government commission set up to help the families now has approved a compensation of about seven thousand dollars for each family -- the equivalent of about ten years of pay. Several private charities have been collecting donations for the families too. On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin flew to the nuclear fleet's home port to meet with relatives of the 118 Kursk crewmen, his first trip there since the accident. T-V footage of the meeting, which lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning, shows a noisy confrontation. Russia's leadership has come under public criticism for its handling of the crisis. President Putin was expected to fly out to a ship at the accident site and lay a wreath on the water but the trip was cancelled. Instead, he flew back to the capital, apparently after the Kursk families urged him to postpone any official mourning ceremony until the bodies of the crew have been recovered. Russia has asked Norway for help to recover bodies from the sunken Kursk and to salvage the wreckage. (Signed) NEB/LMK/GE 23-Aug-2000 07:50 AM LOC (23-Aug-2000 1150 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .