The US intelligence community data suggests that a “pro-Ukrainian group” sabotaged Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, Russia’s two major gas pipelines to Europe, in 2022, The New York Times reports citing US officials.
The newspaper was told that they have no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his key aides were involved in the attack. Moreover, they have no grounds to believe that the group was carrying out orders issued by any Ukrainian government officials.
At the same time, the sabotage group was likely made up of Ukrainian or Russian citizens, “or some combination of the two”, the intelligence report shows. US officials also stressed that no American or British nationals were involved in the sabotage mission, NYT notes.
The article reads that Ukrainian government and military intelligence officials rejected the idea that they were involved in the pipeline attack or know who was behind it.
Some officials told NYT privately that Ukraine and its allies have “the most logical potential motive to attack the pipelines”: they opposed the project for years, branding it as a national security threat, because it would make it easier for the Kremlin to sell gas to Europe.
In early March, Reuters reported that Russia was not planning to repair or restart Nord Streams.
On 26 September, two separate gas leaks were detected in Nord Stream 1 in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone northeast of Bornholm Island. Another rupture was recorded later in Nord Stream 2 southeast of the island. Swedish and Danish seismological stations identified powerful underwater explosions in the same area.
The Russian Defence Ministry reported that the UK Royal Navy was “involved in the planning, supporting, and carrying out the act of terrorism in the Baltic Sea on 26 September in the form of blowing up Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2”. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US of sabotaging the pipelines.