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Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions. New reports, pro-Ukrainian group of saboteurs – writes the New York Times

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New information from US intelligence suggests that a “pro-Ukrainian group” of saboteurs may be responsible for the attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines last fall, the New York Times wrote. He admitted that there was no evidence that she was directly related to the authorities in Kiev. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities deny that their country was involved in the attacks on gas pipelines.

The New York Times, citing US officials who were supposed to have access to newly acquired US intelligence information, reported on Tuesday that although little is known about the perpetrators attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines – which took place in September 2022 – it could have been a “pro-Ukrainian group” of saboteurs. They were “most likely” Ukrainian citizens or Russian opponents of the regime Vladimir Putin.

At the same time, the newspaper wrote, there is no evidence that the Ukrainian authorities were involved in the operation, nor that the president of Ukraine knew about it. Volodymyr Zelensky. The sources he refers to claim that there are no clear conclusions in this matter so far, but they do not exclude the possibility that it was an operation of forces associated with Ukrainian secret services. The new intelligence does not specify the members of the group or who directed or paid for the operation.

US officials, the New York Times reported, declined to divulge the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained, or any details about the weight of the evidence it contained.

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READ ON CONKRET24: “The European Parliament condemns the US attack on Nord Stream”? We explain how the fake message was created

Bubbles on the surface of the Baltic Sea where gas leaks from the Nord Stream gas pipelinesTwitter.com/forsvaretdk

US Officials: The perpetrators are probably people of Ukrainian or Russian nationality

Officials said they believed the saboteurs were most likely citizens of Ukraine or Russia, or both. They said no American or British nationals were involved. They also claim they have found no evidence of Russian government involvement in the attack.

The deep-sea explosions in September last year were described as an act of sabotage that may have been caused by a state. Interlocutors to The New York Times reported that the explosives used in the attack were most likely planted with the help of experienced divers who did not work for either the military or intelligence services. However, it is possible that the perpetrators have received specialized government training in the past.

The informants of the American daily said that there are still huge gaps in knowledge about what happened. According to them, however, the new information could be the first significant lead.

Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline leakkustbevakningen.se

“NYT” about the possibility of upsetting alliances with Ukraine

The New York Times wrote that interviewees privy to the new reports were divided on the importance of the information, but it was intended to “increase their optimism” about moving forward the investigation into the incident. The daily also assessed “any suggestion of Ukraine’s involvement [w ataki – przyp. red.]directly or indirectly, could undermine the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, undermining the support of the German public, which has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity.

The American newspaper added that representatives of Kiev do not always inform their US counterparts about planned or conducted military operations, especially those behind enemy lines and inside Russia. These operations are frustrating for US officials who believe they do not significantly improve Ukraine’s position on the battlefield but risk alienating European allies and widening the war.

“Politico” about the German investigation

Meanwhile, Politico reported on Tuesday that German prosecutors had found “trails” of evidence indicating that Ukrainians may have been involved in the explosions. From the publication on its website, the weekly referred to German media reports, joint work of public broadcasters ARD and SWR, and the newspaper “Die Zeit”.

As we read in the article, investigators have identified a boat that could potentially be used to transport a crew of six, diving equipment and explosives to Baltic Sea at the beginning of September. Later, the charges were placed on the pipelines, according to information obtained by German journalists.

The investigation by the German prosecutor’s office – cited by the local media – shows that the group that was supposed to place explosives on the pipelines consisted of five men: a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and one doctor. Their nationalities are unknown, they used false passports. They were to leave the German port of Rostock on September 6 on a rented boat.

According to German media reports, the boat was rented from a Polish-based company believed to be owned by two Ukrainians. The media reported – as we read in Politico – that the “yacht” was “returned to the owner ‘in an uncleaned condition’ and that ‘investigators were able to detect traces of explosives on the table in the cabin'”.

At the same time, the media report that, according to investigators, it is possible that these could have been false flag activities aimed at blaming Kiev for the attacks.

Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions and leaks

For explosions and gas leakage from Nord Stream 1 and North Stream 2 took place in September 2022 near the Danish island of Bornholm. There were a total of four pipeline failures. At the time of the explosions, none of the pipelines were carrying natural gas, but the pipes were filled with it. Russian gas stopped flowing to Europe with the first gas pipeline at the end of August 2022, and the second gas pipeline has never been launched, among others due to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Spill locations east of BornholmGoogle Earth

Since the September explosions, there has been speculation about what happened at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. A few days after these events, Denmark, Sweden and Germany launched separate investigations into the matter.

The Swedish Prosecutor’s Office in November 2022 considered the damage to be sabotage because “traces of explosives were found on the damaged gas pipelines”. At the same time, it was not stated who could be responsible for it.

READ ALSO: Explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The latest findings of the prosecutor’s office >>>

Damage to the Nord Stream gas pipelinesPAP/Maciej Zielinski

Ukraine’s Defense Minister: We have nothing to do with it

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov denied that his country was involved in the damage to the Baltic gas pipelines. – It’s a rather strange story, it has nothing to do with us. (…) It would be a compliment to our special forces, but it’s not our business – he declared during a visit to Stockholm.

He expressed confidence that “an official investigation, which will be carried out by the appropriate structures, will describe all the details” of the incident.

Podolak: Ukraine has nothing to do with the events in the Baltic Sea

An adviser to the Ukrainian president, Mykhailo Podolak, commenting on the New York Times reports, said that “Ukraine has no connection with the events in the Baltic Sea and has no information about ‘pro-Ukrainian sabotage groups'”.

“What happened to the Nord Stream gas pipelines? ‘They sank’, as they say in the Russian Federation itself…” – Podolak wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Stoltenberg: It is unreasonable to speculate

The NATO secretary general was asked by journalists about this information during a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday. Jens Stoltenberg replied that investigations into this matter are ongoing and it is unreasonable to speculate until investigations are completed.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg at a conference with the Swedish prime ministerPAP/EPA/Jonas Ekstromer

He reminded that NATO has strengthened the protection of infrastructure at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and in the North Sea. “We have increased the exchange of information between countries to avoid such attacks in the future,” he added.

Also asked about the New York Times reports, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, accompanying Stoltenberg, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation conducted by the Swedish prosecutor’s office in cooperation with the SAPO special services.

Ulf Kristersson and Jens StoltenbergPAP/EPA/Jonas Ekstromer

White House: We have to let the investigations end. Then we will consider further actions

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also commented on the matter on Tuesday.

Three investigations are currently underway. They haven’t finished yet. As far as I know, none of these three countries have publicly reported what they found out, he said at a press conference. “We believe, as President Biden said, that this is an act of sabotage. But we must let the investigations end. And only then will we consider what further action may or may not be appropriate,” Kirby added.

Borrell: I’m not afraid of the truth, but we’re talking about speculation

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned against drawing hasty conclusions after media reports that a pro-Ukrainian group was behind last year’s attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. – I’m not afraid of the truth. no truth. But we are talking about speculation, he said on Wednesday after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Stockholm.

He added that the investigations are still ongoing and Sweden, Denmark and Germany are involved. “While the investigation is ongoing, we cannot draw any final conclusions. I have to wait for a clear understanding of what is happening,” he said.

The defense minister of Sweden, Pal Jonson, echoed Borrell. “While this process (investigation) is ongoing, I don’t want to draw any conclusions. I want to wait until the investigation is completed,” the minister was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelinesPAP/Adam Ziemienowicz

New York Times, PAP, Politico

Main photo source: kustbevakningen.se

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