KONFRONTASI-President Vladimir Putin has disclosed for the first time that the Russian Navy's deep-sea submersible vessel that caught fire three days ago, killing 14 seamen, was nuclear-powered.
Putin met on Thursday with Minister of DefenceSergei Shoigu, who had returned from the Navy's Arctic base of Severomorsk, and asked him about the submersible's nuclear reactor.
Shoigu said the reactor is "completely isolated now" and "in full working order".
The blaze erupted in the vessel's battery compartment and spread, Shoigu said in televised remarks.
The defence ministry earlier said 14 people have been killed and that there was an undisclosed number of survivors.
Details remained scarce about the fire and the ship, which was on a mission to measure sea depths in Russia's territorial waters in the Barents Sea.
The ministry did not name the vessel, but Russian media reported it was the country's most secret submersible, a nuclear-powered research submarine called the Losharik intended for sensitive missions at great depths.