‘Pro-Ukrainian group’ may be behind Nord Stream pipeline explosions, NYT reports
Gas leakage after accidents at Nord Stream (Photo:Danish Defence Command/Handout via REUTERS)
A "pro-Ukrainian group" could be behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, The New York Times reported on March 7, citing U.S. officials familiar with new intelligence.
The sources emphasized that they have no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or his administration were in any way involved in the operation or that the likely saboteurs acted on instructions from representatives of the Ukrainian authorities.
The new intelligence indicates that the alleged perpetrators are opponents of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, stopping short of revealing their identities or indicating who organized and financed the operation. U.S. officials also declined to say how the intelligence was obtained or how much evidence Washington has to make these assumptions.
According to the NYT, U.S. officials found no evidence that the Russian government were involved in the attack on the gas pipelines. Sources say, the saboteurs could be "saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two," adding no U.S. or UK nationals were involved in the operation.
The report says the explosives were "most likely" planted by experienced divers who have no recent affiliation with military or intelligence services of any nation-state.
In February 2023, U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh published an article on his blog called ‘How America Destroyed the Nord Stream Gas Pipeline’. Citing "anonymous sources", he suggested that U.S. President Joe Biden personally gave the order to blow up the gas pipelines, and that explosives were planted by U.S. divers. The White House refuted the report as “fictional.”
Nord Stream and Nord Stream-2 (NS-1 and NS-2, respectively) were major supply routes of Russian natural gas to northern Europe – chiefly Germany and the Netherlands.
On Sept. 26, 2022, pressure in NS-2 pipes has rapidly declined, with the same happening in NS-1 a day later. Despite being out of operation at the time, both pipelines were filled with technical gas.
The incident that damaged the pipelines occurred some 70 kilometers away from Danish Island of Bornholm – in neutral waters, but within Denmark’s exclusive economic zone.
Björn Lund, Professor of Seismology at Sweden’s National Seismology Center, said the pipelines were damages by clearly artificial explosions – as opposed to some kind of geological phenomenon.
The Kremlin denies any responsibility for the incident. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that “Anglo-Saxons” were behind the “act of sabotage.”
The pipeline’s operator, Nord Stream AG, said it’s currently impossible to evaluate how long it could take to repair both NS-1 and NS-2.
German security services suggested both pipelines could remain inoperable indefinitely, according to a report by German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.
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