Ukraine war

New study indicates pro-Ukraine groups responsible for attacks on Nord Stream

Gas leak at Nord Stream 2 as seen from the Danish F-16 interceptor on Bornholm, Denmark, September 27, 2022. (Photo: Danish Defence Command/Forsvaret Ritzau Scanpix/via Reuters/File)

According to the New York Times, new intelligence analyzed by American officials reveals that a pro-Ukraine gang assaulted the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September of last year.

The Times reported on Tuesday that American officials stated they had no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or other Ukrainian government leaders were engaged in the pipeline bombs.

The explosions on the pipelines connecting Russia and Germany occurred in the exclusive economic zones of Sweden and Denmark on September 26. Both nations have decided that the explosions were intentional, although neither has indicated who might be responsible.

The United States and NATO have termed the pipeline attacks "acts of sabotage," while Russia has blamed the West. Neither side has offered proof.

The Times reported that new intelligence examined by US authorities suggested the saboteurs were "opponents of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin" but did not define the members of the group or who organized and funded the operation, which would have required trained divers and explosives specialists.

The US sources cited by the Times believed that all individuals involved were of Ukrainian or Russian nationalities, and none were American or British.

The Times reported that the officials were divided on the significance of the new information but that the intelligence had increased their optimism that US spy agencies and their European partners could find additional information, allowing them to reach a definitive conclusion regarding the perpetrators.

'Absolutely not involved'

Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, leading the probe into the attack, stated last month that their investigations are incomplete.

On Tuesday, the United States and the United Kingdom stated that they were awaiting these results.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House, stated, "We must allow these investigations to conclude before determining what, if any, subsequent actions are appropriate."

On Tuesday, Germany announced that it had noted the Times' findings but that its inquiry had yet to produce results. Mykhailo Podolyak, a top advisor to Zelenskyy, stated that Kyiv was "absolutely not involved" in the explosions and had no knowledge of what had occurred.

Any indication of Ukrainian involvement, whether direct or indirect, might damage the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, according to The Times, "souring the support of a German public that has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity."

During a news conference in Stockholm, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson declined to comment on the report.

"A preliminary investigation is ongoing in Sweden, so I will not comment on these reports," Kristersson told reporters late Tuesday.

According to Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russia's Foreign Ministry, Tuesday's media reports highlighted the necessity to answer Moscow's queries regarding what transpired. She further said those responsible for the media leaks attempted to deflect public attention and evade a thorough probe.

Russia submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council last month that, if adopted, would require UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to launch an international, impartial investigation into the incident and its perpetrators.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said Tuesday's media revelations made Russia's action at the Security Council "very timely," telling Reuters that "there will be a vote on the resolution by the end of March."

Boat used for sabotage identified

German television ARD and tabloid Zeit reported Tuesday, without identifying sources, that German investigators were able to locate the sabotaged vessel.

German media reports stated that five men and one lady with falsified passports chartered a yacht from a Ukrainian-owned company in Poland. According to them, the nationality of the offenders is unknown.

According to ARD and Zeit, investigators discovered evidence of explosives on the yacht that the group took from Rostock, Germany, on September 6. They also said that intelligence indicated a pro-Ukrainian group may have been responsible for the incident, although German officials have not yet uncovered evidence.

According to German media, international intelligence officials had not ruled out the possibility of a "false flag" operation to attribute the attack to Ukraine due to the absence of a definitive suspect.

Also in February, legendary US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleged that the United States and Norway collaborated on the attempt to attack the Nord Stream pipelines.

The White House rejected the article by Hersh, which cited an unknown source, as "complete fiction."

Publish : 2023-03-08 10:34:00

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