Ukrainian Military Coordinated Nord Stream Pipeline Sabotage, WaPo Claims

A Ukrainian military officer spearheaded the attack on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline last year that cut off energy to Germany, according to the Washington Post.

The officer has “deep ties” to Ukraine’s intelligence services, and his purported role in the Nord Stream 2 bombing “provides the most direct evidence to date tying Ukraine’s military and security leadership to a controversial act of sabotage,” WaPo reported Saturday.

From the Washington Post:

Roman Chervinsky, a decorated 48-year-old colonel who served in Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces, was the “coordinator” of the Nord Stream operation, people familiar with his role said, managing logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines. On Sept. 26, 2022, three explosions caused massive leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. The attack left only one of the four gas links in the network intact as winter approached.

Chervinsky did not act alone and he did not plan the operation, according to the people familiar with his role, which has not been previously reported. The officer took orders from more senior Ukrainian officials, who ultimately reported to Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer, said people familiar with how the operation was carried out. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details about the bombing, which has strained diplomatic relations with Ukraine and drawn objections from U.S. officials.

Ukraine has launched many daring and secretive operations against Russian forces. But the Nord Stream attack targeted civilian infrastructure built to provide energy to millions of people in Europe. While Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas conglomerate, owns 51 percent of Nord Stream, Western energy companies, including from Germany, France and the Netherlands, are partners and invested billions in the project. Ukraine had long complained that Nord Stream would allow Russia to bypass Ukrainian pipes, depriving Kyiv of huge transit revenue.

Through his attorney, Chervinsky denied any role in the sabotage of the pipelines. “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” Chervinsky said in a written statement to The Washington Post and Der Spiegel, which conducted a joint investigation of his role.

The report doesn’t necessarily disprove veteran journalist Seymour Hersh’s investigation claiming Joe Biden ordered the Nord Stream attack given the U.S.’s advisory role for the Ukrainian military.

Hersh claimed last March that Biden made the decision to blow up Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines because he saw being a war president as giving him a better chance at re-election in 2024.

“He did it. He did it, I’m telling you, he did it,” Hersh said, adding, “The Biden game is to wait it out and never say yes.”

Just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, Biden himself suggested the Nord Stream pipelines would be destroyed if Russia invaded.

“I want to be very clear to you today,” she said in response to a question. “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

In an apparent effort to shift blame from Biden, The New York Times reported at the time that a “pro-Ukrainian group” carried out an “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” to destroy the pipelines.

Hersh warned that U.S. media outlets were fed false or misleading stories by the CIA in an effort to cover up its role in the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage.

“In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction,” Hersh wrote.

This latest report by the Washington Post could be a continuation of the intelligence community’s coverup effort, but the assertion that Ukraine’s military was directly responsible for carrying out the attack is still damning for the U.S. given its role in supporting Ukraine’s military with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

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