Nord Stream’s Sabotage Elusive Truth? – OpEd


“Did US have intelligence of detailed Ukrainian plan to attack Nord Stream pipeline last June?”

The earlier recent theory on the blast was provided by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh on February 8, 2023 who alleged that US Navy deep-sea divers planted high-powered C4 explosives under the gas pipelines under cover of NATO naval exercises in June 2022.The Norwegian military then activated the explosives remotely upon receiving an order from the White House.

US-Ukraine: Against the Nord Stream pipeline 

President Biden had said at a joint press conference along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Feb 2022; “Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia  to Germany will not go forward if Russia invades Ukraine…then there will be no longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it…I promise you we will be able to do that.”The US has historically seen the Nord Stream pipeline as an extension of Russian influence over Europe through Germany. In 2014, Condoleezza Rice, the former US secretary of state, openly stated the US sought to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian energy platforms and increase their dependency on American ones. 

Gregory Simons, an associate professor at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University,Sweden tells TRT World: If one does a cost-benefit analysis as to who benefits, there is only one clear beneficiary (US), especially given the timing, which is not coincidental.He also questions how this would serve Russian interests.  Russia has lost its leverage over Germany and EU because it cannot supply or deny the gas. 

The Ukrainian crisis is less about Ukraine but more about gas supply. It’s about Germany and, in particular about this pipeline Nord Stream 2 that connects Germany to Russia.Germans would have got a reliable source of gas energy while Russia would have got a boost to their gas revenues. This win-win situation for both Parties was not liked by the US Foreign Policy establishment. This is why the Biden administration opposed Nord Stream as it would have left the US out of the power game of  both  power politics and eco-power resulting in slowly losing the hold on NATO and Europe. 

While Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas company owns 51 percent of Nord Stream, Western energy companies, including from Germany, France and the Netherlands, are partners and invested billions in the pipelines. Ukraine had long complained that Nord Stream would allow Russia to bypass Ukrainian pipes, depriving Ukraine of huge transit revenue.

The Ukrainian Link : European Intelligence

Intelligence which has not been previously reported, were collected by an European Intelligence Service and shared with the CIA in June 2022. Three months before saboteurs bombed the Nord Stream  gas pipeline, the Biden administration learned from a close ally that the Ukrainian military had planned a covert attack on the undersea network, using a small team of divers who reported directly to the Ukrainian armed forces Chief.They provide some of the most specific evidence to date linking Ukraine to the eventual attack , which US and Western officials have “called a brazen and dangerous act of sabotage on Europe’s energy infrastructure!”

The intelligence report was based on information obtained from an individual in Ukraine. The source’s information could not immediately be corroborated, but the CIA shared the report with Germany and other European countries last June.The leaked documents also reveal the  capacity to wage a successful offensive against Russian forces and “Negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely during 2023.”

Some Biden administration officials initially suggested that Russia was to blame for what President Biden called “a deliberate act of sabotage,” promising that the US would work with its allies “to get to the bottom of what exactly  happened?”

Biden administration officials now privately concede there is no evidence that conclusively points to Moscow’s involvement. But publicly they have deflected questions about who might beresponsible.“Don’t talk about Nord Stream blaming Kyiv that could fracture the alliance against Russia”.  

Investigators have matched explosive residue found on the pipeline to traces found inside the cabin of the yacht, called Andromeda. And they have linked Ukrainian individuals to the rental of the boat via an apparent front company in Poland. Investigators also suspect that at least one individual who serves in the Ukrainian military was involved in the sabotage operation.Officials have said that the cost of repairing the pipelines would run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

President Zelensky Denies Any Link To Sabotage

Ukrainian President  Zelensky denied his government’s involvement in the sabotage of the gas pipelines.“I am the president and I give orders accordingly. Nothing of the sort has been done by Ukraine. I would never act that way,” Zelenskyy said, asking for proof of Ukrainian involvement.

Russia Dismisses The Ukrainian Link

Russian President  Putin has dismissed as “sheer nonsense” allegations that Ukrainians could be behind the explosions that crippled the Nord Stream gas pipelines, suggesting the US may have been responsible. US had a motive to carry out the attack in the Baltic Sea last year, saying it wanted to halt supplies of cheap Russian natural gas to Europe and provide the continent with more expensive liquefied natural gas.“Who is interested? Theoretically, the United States is interested in stopping the supply of Russian energy to the European market and supplying volumes of its own,” Putin told an interviewer.

The larger question remains did the  US  try to stop  this Ukrainian Operation if being executed by the Ukrainian military or kept silent as it suited their larger interest as has been proved .The Pentagon and the NATO are believed to be in the know how of  Ukrainian Operational plans .US and Western officials have called “A brazen and dangerous act of sabotage on Europe’s energy infrastructure!” but President Biden  had said  in Feb 2022; “Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia  to Germany will not go forward if Russia invades Ukraine… We will bring an end to it…I promise you …” Truth appears to be yet elusive and many more theories of sabotage will be coming up in the future to further deepen the sabotage mystery and wonder if the saboteurs be ever identified. 

UN: Who is really Behind the Sabotage?

The need of the hour is “To get to the bottom of what exactly  happened” through an UN independent expert investigation team having members from all stake holders and find out who is really behind the Nord Stream  pipeline sabotage.


  • The Washington Post June 6, 2023 The Discord Leaks

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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