Northern Fleet Denies Bellona’s Y2K glitches report

Publish date: December 9, 1999

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The Russian Northern Fleet Commander-in-Chief denied a report by Bellona on possible Y2K glitches. Bellona's report was based on official data from the Northern Fleet.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Northern Fleet, Admiral Popov, rejected any possibility of Y2K glitches at the fleet’s warships on December 31, 1999. The Admiral said that the Bellona report had nothing to do with reality.

In June this year, Bellona published an article ‘Y2K Bugs Russian Navy’ that was mainly based on information from Northern Fleet’s official newspaper Na Strazhe Zapolyarya. The article said the navy was fully armed to face the ‘millennium bug’ but complained that no funding was available to fix the problem. Officials from the Northern Fleet also admitted in the article that satellite navigation systems installed onboard warships are the most vulnerable to Y2K. They expected that 30 per cents of such systems would stop functioning after December 31, 1999.

The articles in the Northern Fleet’s newspaper are strictly censored. No unwanted facts can sneak in such publications. Thus, the Commander was denying what his own officers were saying. This undermines the reliability of the official assurances that no problems exist.

Another matter – how the Commander can draw distinct conclusions that all systems are safe when no funding was available to conduct necessary verifications?

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