Two books have been released regarding the Kursk submarine tragedy. Some experts believe that 23 sailors survived the explosion and lived for 3 days while the Russians bumbled through rescue efforts. Interesting review of the books in the London Guardian. Good insight:

[The two authors] do, however, agree on the background to Putin’s mystifying slowness in grasping the significance of what had happened; both attribute it to a bureaucratic reluctance by Russian officialdom to be the bearer of bad news.

At the Arctic headquarters of the Northern Fleet, Admiral Popov reflected on how to respond to the disappearance of the Kursk. “Admiral Popov [Commander of the Northern Fleet] had been trained and groomed under the Soviet system. He knew the two golden rules were never take or admit responsibility for failure and never be the one to give bad news to your military or political bosses,” Truscott writes. “So, confronted with what seemed like evidence of a huge disaster, Popov did what a long line of senior officers had done before and after him. He did nothing. It had been the same in the days immediately after Chernobyl in 1986. It was the Soviet way and it came naturally.”