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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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U.S. Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Nord Stream Pipelines

  • The New York Times, citing unnamed U.S. officials, claims that new intelligence points to a pro-Ukrainian group as the saboteurs of the Nord Stream pipelines.
  • The news follows Seymour Hersch’s allegations, also based on an unnamed source, that the U.S. government was behind the bombings.
  • The official investigation being carried out by Sweden and Denmark is still ongoing and has not reached any definitive conclusions so far.

New intelligence that has been reviewed by U.S. government officials points to a pro-Ukrainian group as the likely perpetrator of the Nord Stream pipeline bombings last year, the New York Times has reported, citing unnamed officials.

The report comes a month after U.S. investigative journalist Seymour Hersch reported, citing an unnamed source from the U.S. government that it was Washington that had carried out the sabotage, with help from Norway.

The official investigation of the sabotage that is being carried out by Sweden and Denmark is still ongoing, with the investigators failing to reach any definitive conclusion so far.

According to the new report by the New York Times, there was no evidence that the Ukrainian government was involved in the attacks or that it had ordered them.

The report also notes that some U.S. government officials believe Ukraine and its allies had the most motive to carry out the attacks, after years of opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as the new pipeline would increase Russia’s gas sales to Europe and threaten Ukraine’s transit fee revenues.

President Biden, for his part, said last year that if Russia moves further into Ukraine, the U.S. will shut down the Nord Stream pipeline.

According to the NYT’s sources, little was known about the alleged perpetrators of the acts of sabotage beyond the claim they were opponents of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. The intelligence, the report said, did not specify who the members of that group were or who paid for the sabotage of Nord Stream.

The report further noted that the sources declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence that they based the allegations on, and on the strength of the evidence it contained. They did tell the NYT, however, that those involved were most likely Ukrainians and/or Russians, and that no Americans or Britons had been involved.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 08 2023 said:
    Whom is US Intelligence trying to kid by suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged Russian Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines?

    This is an outright lie since the sabotage operation goes far beyond the technical and logistical abilities of any group unless they are trained by US Intelligence and working for it. However, there was no evidence according to a new report by the New York Times that the Ukrainian government was involved in the attacks or that it had ordered them.

    Russia has already accused the United States of being behind the sabotage and called on 21 February this year for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the sabotage.

    Overwhelming circumstantial evidence points the finger at the United States. The culprit must have a motive, vested interest and strategic objective. These three fit the United States like a hand in glove.

    The motive is that the United States has had a history of opposing Soviet and later Russian oil and gas pipelines to supply Europe with Russian gas and oil supplies since the 1960s.

    The vested interest is that the United States stands to benefit handsomely from selling its LNG to the EU at the expense of Russian piped gas.

    As for the strategic objective, it is well known that the United States has always warned the EU against its energy dependence on Russia and has never hidden its intention of severing the EU’s dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies once and for all.

    There is also additional supporting evidence to incriminate the United States.

    1- President Biden said last year that if Russia moves further into Ukraine, the U.S. will shut down the Nord Stream pipeline.

    2- US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported a month ago citing an unnamed source from the U.S. government that it was Washington that had carried out the sabotage, with help from Norway.

    Mr Hersh is a highly credible journalist with a string of successes behind him having exposed in 1969 the My Lai massacre and the cover-up during the Vietnam War. In 2004 he detailed the US military’s torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Gharib detention prison in Iraq for the New Yorker for which he won a record five George Polk Awards and two National Magazine Awards. In 2013, Hersh's reporting disputed the claim that Bashar al-Assad’s government, rather than Syrian rebel forces, had attacked civilians with chemical weapons at Ghouta during the Syrian Civil War.

    3- It is very suspicious that Sweden who investigated the sabotage last year refused to invite a Russian representative to the investigations and also to share the findings with Russia. It obvious that Sweden is hiding something.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Allen Ford on March 12 2023 said:
    A month ago, Seymour Hersh claimed in a very detailed investigative publication that the US and Norway blew up the NS pipelines last year. This report may have now pressured US authorities to reveal intelligence information that a pro-Ukrainian group of six people was likely responsible for this attack. Even before the sabotage, the CIA had warned EU allies about the possibility of an attack on NS by a pro-Ukrainian group. Although more detailed information from European investigations did not specify the saboteurs as pro-Ukrainian, they did link them to two Ukrainian businessmen based in Poland who had rented a 15 m boat for the operation. Importantly, European and US officials have said they increasingly do not believe that neither Russia-government nor pro-Russian operatives were behind the sabotage because of a lack of evidence.

    The new announcements by US and European officials invite doubts with regard to some operational details required to blow up the NS pipelines. It is widely accepted that placing an estimated amount of more than 2,000 kg of “military grade” explosives on the pipelines at a depth of approximately 70 meters in the Baltic Sea required operational planning and execution at a level of sophistication that only a few states are capable of. Furthermore, the large amounts of explosives, the special dive gear and the decompression chamber required for such a deep dive operation could not fit on the 15 m vessel identified by German intelligence. Most bafflingly though, despite their apparent professionalism, the saboteurs were not professional enough to clean the boat from traces of explosives when they returned it, according to German reports. This amateurish negligence strongly implies the boat crew had planted these traces to be found later by investigators. The aim of this deliberate action was most likely to protect the identity of the true perpetrators by pinning blame on another party. If indeed the case, this possibility could support Hersh’s claim that the US with assistance from Norway executed the NS attack.

    The potential connection of the pro-Ukrainian saboteur group and its Poland-based Ukrainian sponsors to Ukraine and Zelenskyy are still unclear, at least to the public. However, it is doubtful that this group acted without the knowledge of or approval by the government of Ukraine and possibly the US. It is difficult to believe the US would risk its huge commitment in the Ukraine-Russia war by a privately-funded pro-Ukrainian group gone rogue. In light of the uncertainties about Ukraine’s role in the NS attack, it is prudent for the EU to suspend any further military support to Ukraine until the perpetrators are identified. After all, EU citizens ought to have clarity about who and which cause they are supporting morally and with their tax money.

    However, will we be able to handle the truth about the destruction of the NS pipelines? As this sabotage can be considered an act of war against Germany, the EU and Russia, the findings of any investigation may have unthinkable consequences, including even a declaration of war against the state perpetrator(s). The lack of evidence for Russia’s involvement, leaves only a few nations as potential suspects, all of which ironically are current or candidate EU and/or NATO members. The nation that is ultimately responsible for sponsoring the destruction of this vital European energy infrastructure should face severe consequences, including but not limited to expulsion from EU and/or NATO or disqualification of membership in these organizations. Although, because of serious political, as well as huge legal implications, we may never get to know who was responsible for this monstrous act, and it may remain a “unresolved mystery”.

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