The US learned of Ukrainian plans to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, according to 'The Washington Post' | International
The US government knew, three months before it actually happened, that the Ukrainian military was planning to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year in a covert sabotage operation. This is stated in documents leaked on a channel of the digital platform Discord by the soldier Jack Teixeira and to which he has had access The Washington Post. According to the newspaper, the Ukrainian plan provided for the use of a small group of divers under the direct orders of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the former Soviet republic, Valeri Zaluzhni.
The information about these plans came from an individual in Ukraine and was obtained by the intelligence services of a European country, which communicated it to the CIA in June 2022. Zaluzhni had been in charge of the operation to keep the president out. , Volodimir Zelenski, according to that Western source. The CIA in turn transferred the data to other European intelligence entities, including the German secret services.
The report contains numerous very specific data, such as the number of people who should have participated in the act of sabotage and the method of attacking the gas pipelines, one of the main transport routes for Russian natural gas to Europe. The precise details show that "for almost a year the Western allies had reason to suspect [la participación de] Kiev in sabotage", points out the newspaper, which recalls that this impression "has been reinforced in recent months, after German investigators discovered evidence about the explosion that strikingly coincides with what the European intelligence service had said what Ukraine planned.
The information that reached the European secret services indicated that the Ukrainian forces were planning the coup for June, specifically between the 5th and 7th, while military exercises by the NATO allies known as Baltops were taking place in the area. The attack did not take place for reasons that were not specified.
The explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipelines on the seabed of the Baltic Sea, some 70 meters deep, occurred in September last year, with no one clearly attributed responsibility for the attack so far. Suspicions have fallen, depending on who cast them, on kyiv ―a staunch critic of Nord Stream as an alternative to the passage of Russian gas through its territory―, Moscow, London or Washington.
The spectacular attack was a technical boast. Its authors placed the high-powered explosive charges at the bottom of the Baltic and detonated them undetected in an area of intense maritime traffic. The tubes installed on the seabed cover a 1,200-kilometre route that crosses the territorial waters of five countries: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the most recent —its construction was completed in 2021, a decade after the original pipeline, Nord Stream 1— measures 1.1 meters in diameter and the thickness of its walls is 4.1 centimeters. Germany, which before the start of the war in Ukraine imported 60% of its natural gas needs from Russia, suspended the final approval for the use of that pipeline two days before the Russian invasion of its neighbor, in February 2022. At the time of the explosion, the gigantic pipeline contained 300 million cubic meters of gas.
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The German investigators in charge of clarifying the case have found indications that the attack was carried out by six individuals who rented a pleasure yacht in Warnemünde (Germany), on Andromeda, with false passports and through a Polish front company. Remains of an explosive similar to that used to blow up the Nord Stream pipes have been found in the ship's control cabin. At least one of them is linked to the Ukrainian forces.
The plans received by the European intelligence service differ slightly from how the sabotage was carried out in September. Among other details, the idea was to rent the yacht in another European town. Nord Stream 2 is not mentioned either. According to intelligence sources cited by the newspaper, the differences may be due to the fact that the Ukrainian forces knew that the plot had been leaked and changed some details to cover up traces.
The European information initially received a cold reception from the CIA, which nevertheless transferred the data to other secret services on the Old Continent. But the European agency is considered reliable by its American partners, and those responsible for that entity considered that its source was of quality. But these data were not the only ones handled by the US intelligence services: in the months prior to the explosion, their wiretaps picked up conversations alluding to sabotage, although these were not analyzed until after the attack.
In March, the newspaper The New York Times He cited intelligence sources to indicate that the responsibility for the attack could have corresponded to a pro-Ukrainian group.
After the sabotage, the initial theories in Washington and European capitals pointed to the responsibility of Russia. But it is not clear what benefit Moscow would get from blowing up a source of fat revenue and valuable influence in Europe, and in a year there has been no indication that the Kremlin might be behind the coup. Moscow, which denies any involvement, once pointed to the United Kingdom as responsible for the sabotage, without providing evidence.
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