The Washington Post published a report on Saturday that alleged a senior Ukrainian military officer directed the sabotage attacks on the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that connect Russia and Germany, which blew up on September 26, 2022.
The Post’s anonymous sources claimed Col. Roman Chervinsky, who is currently in jail over an unrelated case, was the “coordinator” of the attack. The report said Chervinsky managed “logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines.”
For his part, Chervinsky has denied the allegations. “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” he said in a written statement.
The Post did not mention Seymour Hersh’s report on the Nord Stream bombings, which alleges the operation was ordered by President Biden and carried out by US Navy divers in coordination with Norway.
While Hersh’s report has not been confirmed, the US had a clear motive to bomb the pipelines. For years, the US worked against Nord Stream 2 using sanctions, and President Biden vowed to “bring an end” to the pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine. Victoria Nuland, the current acting deputy secretary of state, made similar threatening comments.
After the pipeline bombings, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the incident was a “tremendous opportunity” to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
The Post report said Chervinsky did not plan the Nord Stream bombings and that he took orders from senior officials who ultimately reported to Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny. The anonymous sources said President Volodymyr Zelensky was purposely kept out of the loop.
Chervinsky is currently in jail over an operation he was involved in that was meant to lure a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities allege that Cherbinsky acted on his own and gave away coordinates that led to a Russian strike on an airfield that killed one Ukrainian soldier and wounded 17 more.
Chervinsky insists he was working under orders to recruit the Russian pilot and denies responsibility for the Russian strike, saying his arrest is political due to his criticism of Zelensky. He has publicly said he suspects Andriy Yermak, one of Zelensky’s top aides, is spying for Russia.