Several Western media outlets reported Tuesday that the CIA warned Ukraine last year not to bomb the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that connect Russia and Germany.
In recent months, US and other Western officials speaking to the media have suggested Ukraine was behind the Nord Stream sabotage. Most reports on the issue have ignored or dismissed the fact that journalist Seymour Hersh has sources who said President Biden ordered the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines.
According to unnamed US officials speaking to The New York Times, Dutch intelligence officials told the CIA in June 2022 that they learned of a Ukrainian military plot to attack the pipelines. The CIA then warned Ukraine not to carry out the attack, and US officials now believe it was postponed to September 2022.
A European official told the Times that Ukraine’s original plan involved Ukrainian special forces renting a submersible vessel to attack the pipelines. The CIA was also said to warn Germany about a potential plot to sabotage Nord Stream.
The latest Nord Stream allegations were first reported by the news outlet Die Zeit and NOS, a Dutch broadcaster. They claimed that the Ukrainian plot was overseen by Valery Zaluchny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied Kyiv was involved in the destruction of the pipelines. “I am president, and I give orders accordingly,” he said. “Nothing of the sort has been done by Ukraine. I would never act that way.”
The idea that the US suspected Ukrainian involvement in the Nord Stream bombings first surfaced in a New York Times report that was published on March 7. Sources told Seymour Hersh that the report was a cover-up planted in the paper by the CIA to discredit his story that points the finger at President Biden.
Hersh’s reporting on the Nord Stream plot hasn’t been confirmed, but the US is still a prime suspect as it had a clear motive and US officials made threats against the pipelines. On February 7, 2022, President Biden vowed to “bring an end” to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine.
A few weeks earlier, Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, made a similar threat. “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” she said.
According to Hersh’s reporting, US Navy divers planted explosives on the Nord Stream pipelines in June 2022 under cover of NATO exercises in the Baltic Sea. He said the explosives were detonated by a Norwegian spy plane dropping a sonar buoy in the area on September 26, 2022.