Now, I'm no submariner and not much of a Russian Intel guy. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians had waited until the
three seven crewmen aboard the mini-sub stuck at 600 feet were already dead before asking for help from the US and the UK. They had about three days of air before they got hung up on a fishing net coastal monitoring antennae.
If the Russians waited, they look like team players, "Hey, we asked for help." Especially, after the Kursk disaster, Putin needs the cover.
And dead men tell no tales.
Update: Russian military is reporting that the crew is still alive as of 10:33am CST.
Update 3: As some of the Commenters are pointing out, the crew was rescued and is alive and well. Great news!