In the case of the exploded Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, there appears to be new evidence. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that according to anonymous sources in the Washington government apparatus, the US had compiled evidence that a pro-Ukrainian group was behind the September 2022 sabotage. Those familiar with the investigation have according to the report however, made it clear that there was no evidence of involvement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his close associates. At the same time, no evidence was found that the Russian government was involved.
Since the pipelines in the Baltic Sea blew a leak off the Danish island of Bornholm on the night of September 26, speculation has circulated as to who was behind the explosions. Poland and Ukraine were quick to blame Russia. The Kremlin, in turn, suspected British special forces. Nobody has so far presented official evidence for one or the other thesis.
If the report of New York Times If true, this would be the first time any real lead in the case has come to light. But the reporters left many questions unanswered – inevitably because, according to the report, their informants are sparse with the already sparse information. No information was given as to what type of information was involved and how conclusive it actually was. The interlocutors emphasized that they themselves did not yet know a lot, for example about the background and possible motives of the suspects. Ukrainian government and intelligence officials denied the New York Times any involvement in the sabotage action.
Investigations in Sweden and Denmark are still ongoing
The report also caused a stir in Berlin on Tuesday. “The federal government has the latest report of the New York Times taken note of,” a government spokeswoman said Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Federal Public Prosecutor (GBA) has been investigating the matter since the beginning of October 2022. “He has sovereignty over the procedure,” she emphasized. In addition, investigations into the explosions were underway in Sweden and Denmark, in each case under the leadership of the national authorities there. A few days ago, Sweden, Denmark and Germany informed the United Nations Security Council that “the investigations are ongoing and there are still no results.”
Also on Tuesday reported the Timethe SWR and the ARD-Magazine Contrast that investigators managed to identify a boat that was allegedly used for the pipeline attack – a yacht that a group of people rented shortly before the attack, but their identity is still known be unclear.
According to the unanimous assessment of observers, there are many motives for the sabotage of the pipelines: The Nord Stream project has always been a thorn in the side of Ukraine because the pipelines from Russia to Germany would have made the previously usual route for Russian gas through Ukraine virtually superfluous , including the elimination of transit fees. The USA had also spoken out vehemently against the construction of the pipeline. Western government members estimated shortly after the attack that Russia, on the other hand, might have wanted to use such an action to demonstrate its ability to destroy important infrastructure for Europe.
Investigators repeatedly emphasized that it was likely that due to the effort required for such an action, a state agency was behind the sabotage. However, the US authorities have not yet officially committed themselves. As with practically everything in this case.