Saturday, April 1, 2023

Pro-Ukraine groups behind Nord Stream attacks, according to intelligence report

(Al Jazeera Media Network) New intelligence reviewed by officials in the United States suggests that a pro-Ukraine group attacked the Nord Stream gas pipelines last September, according to the New York Times.

The U.S. officials said they had no evidence that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or other Ukrainian government officials were involved in the pipeline bombings, the Times reported on Tuesday.

The explosions on the pipelines from Russia to Germany happened on September 26 in the exclusive economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. Both countries have concluded the blasts were deliberate but have not said who might be responsible.

The U.S. and NATO have called the pipeline attacks “an act of sabotage,” while Moscow has blamed the West. Neither side has provided evidence.

The new intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggested the perpetrators behind the sabotage were “opponents of President Vladimir V Putin of Russia,” the Times reported, but did not specify the members of the group and who organized and paid for the operation, which would have required skilled divers and explosives experts.

The U.S. officials cited by the Times said they believed those involved were probably Ukrainian or Russian nationals, and that none was American or British.

The Times said the officials were divided about how much weight to put on the new information, but said the intelligence had increased their optimism that U.S. spy agencies and their partners in Europe would be able to find more information, allowing them to reach a firm conclusion about the perpetrators.

Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, who have taken the lead in investigating the attack, said last month that their investigations had not yet concluded.

The U.S. and the United Kingdom said on Tuesday they were waiting on those findings.

The Times said any suggestion of Ukrainian involvement, whether direct or indirect, could upset the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, “souring support among a German public that has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity.”


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