US intelligence report: Pro-Ukrainian group behind Nord Stream blast

It is still unclear who carried out the attack on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines.

US intelligence report: Pro-Ukrainian group behind Nord Stream blast

It is still unclear who carried out the attack on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. A US intelligence report now blames a pro-Ukrainian group. It is unclear who exactly is behind this. German media speak of six people involved.

According to a media report, the US government assumes that a pro-Ukrainian group is behind the blasting of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last September. The "New York Times" reported, citing several anonymous US government officials, that new intelligence information would indicate this. However, there is no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or those close to him were involved in the act of sabotage or that lone perpetrators acted at the behest of any Ukrainian government official.

According to the "New York Times", the US government officials admitted that many things were still unclear - such as who exactly carried out the demolitions, who ordered them and who financed the operation. However, there are indications that they are opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Responsible are probably Ukrainian or Russian citizens. British or US citizens were not involved.

According to another media report, German investigative authorities were able to largely reconstruct how and when the bomb attack was prepared. According to the joint research by the ARD capital studio, the ARD political magazine Kontraste, SWR and ZEIT, there are traces leading in the direction of Ukraine. However, investigators have not yet found any evidence as to who ordered the destruction.

The investigators managed to identify the boat that was allegedly used for the secret operation, as the "Zeit" writes. It is said to be a yacht rented from a company based in Poland, apparently owned by two Ukrainians. According to the investigation, the secret operation at sea was carried out by a team of six people: five men and one woman. Accordingly, the group consisted of a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and a doctor, who are said to have transported the explosives to the crime scenes and placed them there. The nationality of the perpetrators is apparently unclear. The assassins used professionally forged passports, which are said to have been used, among other things, to rent the boat.

In September, explosions in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark in the Baltic Sea caused several leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which were built to transport Russian gas to Germany. Both pipelines consist of double tubes. A line remained undamaged in the explosions. The pipelines were not operating at the time of the explosions but contained gas. According to Sweden, sabotage is behind the incident. Accordingly, explosive residues were detected.

A government spokeswoman in Berlin announced that they had taken note of the latest report by the "New York Times". "The Federal Public Prosecutor (GBA) has been investigating the matter since the beginning of October 2022. He therefore has sovereignty over the procedure. In addition, investigations into the explosions are ongoing in Sweden and Denmark, each under the leadership of the national authorities there," she said. A few days ago, Sweden, Denmark and Germany informed the United Nations Security Council that the investigations were ongoing and that there were still no results.

There has been much speculation as to who is behind the alleged sabotage. Russia itself was suspected, among others - even if it remained unclear why the government in Moscow should blow up pipelines intended for the export of Russian natural gas. The Russian government has denied any responsibility and pointed the finger at Washington. The US government had opposed the construction of Nord Stream 2 and condemned the project as a geopolitical leverage of the Kremlin.

At the beginning of February, the well-known US investigative reporter Seymour Hersh caused a sensation with a report according to which the USA is said to have blown up the pipelines. In June, US Navy divers planted explosive devices on the gas pipelines with the help of Norway in a covert operation ordered by the White House and planned by the US foreign intelligence agency CIA. The explosive devices were then remotely detonated in September.

The US government has firmly denied this account. "This is completely false and a complete fabrication," said US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson. Independent fact-checkers have pointed out inconsistencies in the Hersh report. The journalist did not publish the report in a major medium but on his blog. The 85-year-old also only refers to an anonymous source.