Since The New York Times published a story on Tuesday that cited US officials who claimed the bombings of the Nord Stream pipelines were conducted by a “pro-Ukrainian group,” articles have appeared across Western media making similar allegations.
The deluge of stories came almost one month after investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report that said President Biden ordered the attack on the natural gas pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany. The New York Times report only mentioned Hersh’s report to say US officials denied its allegations.
Since The New York Times reported on the pipeline sabotage, articles reinforcing the narrative have appeared in the German newspaper Die Zeit, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, and many other outlets.
Piecing the stories together, the general narrative is that a group of private individuals with ties to Ukraine, but not the government, carried out the attack using a yacht owned by a Ukrainian. Before these new allegations, the theory among Western investigators was that the sabotage was likely carried out by state actors due to the amount of explosives and sophisticated operations that would be required to plant them.
Hersh’s report said US Navy divers planted explosives on the pipelines during NATO exercises in the Baltic Sea in June 2022. It said Norway cooperated with the US, and a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane dropped a sonar buoy that detonated the explosives on September 26, 2022.
Even without Hersh’s report, the US is a prime suspect since it had the motive to destroy the pipelines. The US had for years tried to block the construction of Nord Stream 2, and President Biden threatened to “bring an end” to the pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine. After the blasts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called it a “tremendous opportunity” to get Europe off Russian gas.