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Flag Russia's launched Belgorod - first analysis
The Russian Navy continued its trend of limiting photographer access to its latest submarine launch, going to new extremes for the project 09852 Belgorod which was launched today at the JSC Production Association (PO) ‘Sevmash’ shipyard in Severodvinsk. Some high quality photographs of stern were taken by veteran media photographer Oleg Kuleshov. While limited, these provide some insights into the secretive submarine.

The stern is traditionally one of the most sensitive parts of the boat because the design of the screws (propellers) have long been a key feature for stealth, and conversely, for individual boat acoustic identification. However for Belgorod they are eclipsed by the extensive and secretive modifications to the massive hull.

CLICK for HIGH RESOLUTION - TASS media photo by Oleg Kuleshov (Twitter), with annotations added by HISutton / Covert Shores:

A. Tube for retractable towed passive sonar array per OSCAR-II
B. Screw-back screw (propeller), likely 7 bladed per later OSCAR-II
C. Vortex attenuator blades
D. Modified and reinforced lower rudders relative to OSCAR-II
E. Bulge, see below

Belgorod is a massive submarine, second only to the famous TYPHOON Class SSBN. She is a stretched OSCAR-II Class boat modified to carry both nuclear powered deep diving ‘special mission’ submersibles and the new Poseidon Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo (2м39 'Poseidon' (Посейдон) / 'Status-6' (Статус-6 / 'Skif' (Скиф) seabed launched variant / NATO: KANYON).

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The main feature photographed which raises questions is a bulge on the lower hull. This may relate to retractable steerable thrusters for precise position holding.

Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores
Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores

Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores
Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores

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Photo from slightly different angle, by Oleg Kuleshov (Twitter,Instagram):
Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores
Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores

Remindsh me of thish:
Pr.09852 Belgorod Class - Covert Shores

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