The 14 Russian navy officers who died in a fire on one of the navy's research submersibles have been laid to rest, AP has reported.
The men were buried on Saturday, July 6th, at a cemetery in St. Petersburg, which was cordoned off by the military. Media were not allowed to attend a vigil at the local church or the burial.
Russia has said the details of the tragedy were a “state secret.”
A representative of the defence ministry claimed, “you have to understand that the identities of most of the people gathered here are secret and their faces cannot be shown.”
President Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded state honours to all 14 of the submariners. Putin's decree published on Friday July 5th posthumously awarded four naval officers with the Hero of Russia medals and the others with the Order of Courage.
The officers died in the Barents Sea on Monday July 1st, but little information has been released about the accident, saying only that the crew was studying the sea floor. But Russian media had reported the ship was a top-secret nuclear-powered mini-submarine.
Nearly all the victims were highly decorated officers, and included seven Captain First Rank officers, the most senior staff officers in the Russian navy, according to AFP.