'Pro-Ukrainian group' believed to be behind Nord Stream gas pipeline sabotage | War in Ukraine
The four leaks affecting Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea are due to underwater explosions corresponding to “hundreds of kilos” of TNT.
A “pro-Ukrainian group” is said to be behind last year's sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, the New York Times reported on Tuesday based on information seen by intelligence American.
The newspaper does not detail what would be this information to which US intelligence had access or the identity of this pro-Ukrainian group. According to US officials, however, there is no indication that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was involved in this sabotage.
Information collected by US intelligence suggests that the perpetrators behind the sabotage were opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin, likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, according to the New York Times.
In a separate article, German media say on Tuesday that the criminal investigation has identified the boat used for the sabotage. It was rented by a company based in Poland and apparently owned by two Ukrainians, say the weekly Die Zeit as well as the public channels ARD and SWR.
A six-person team, made up of five men and one woman and including divers, boarded the ship to transport and dispose of the explosives at the site, the media continued.
They fired this information from interviews with sources in several countries. Judicial investigations into the destruction of gas pipelines are carried out by Germany, Denmark, Sweden. However, the nationality of the perpetrators is unclear, adds Die Zeit, noting that fake passports were used to rent the boat.
Investigators were able to determine that the commando set sail from the German port of Rostock on September 6, 2022 and later located the boat near the Danish island of Christiansø.
Traces of explosives were detected on the cabin table of the boat returned uncleaned to its owner, writes Die Zeit. Even if leads lead to Ukraine, the investigators have not yet managed to determine who commissioned the operation, underlines the weekly.
The New York Times adds that the information seen by US intelligence does not allow any firm conclusions and leaves open the possibility that the operation was launched in secret by a third party force with links within of the Ukrainian government or its security services.
A spokesman for the German government told AFP that the latter had taken note of the < em>New York Timesand referred to the ongoing judicial investigation.
“A preliminary investigation is ongoing in Sweden, so I have no not intend to comment on this information. »
— Ulf Kristersson, Swedish Prime Minister
On September 26, four huge gas leaks preceded by underwater explosions were detected on the gas pipelines connecting Russia to Germany, all in international waters.
Western countries had blamed Russia for the blasts, adding to anger aimed at Moscow after its offensive in Ukraine unleashed. Russia has accused the Anglo-Saxons of being behind this sabotage.
Since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the two gas pipelines have been at the heart of geopolitical tensions, stoked after Moscow's decision to cut off gas supplies to Europe in alleged retaliation for Western sanctions. Both pipelines were out of service at the time, but contained significant amounts of methane.
In a recent article, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that US Navy divers, aided by Norway, allegedly planted explosives on these gas pipelines in June, triggering their explosion three months later. The United States called this information completely false.