icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
13 Nov, 2023 01:12

Ukrainian accused of Nord Stream bombing denies WaPo claims

A recent report by the newspaper reinforces the narrative of a fringe saboteur group acting independently of the leadership in Kiev
Ukrainian accused of Nord Stream bombing denies WaPo claims

A Ukrainian military officer who was named in a recent Washington Post report as having allegedly played a key role in the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines in 2022 has dismissed the claims as “Russian propaganda.”

Roman Chervinsky, a Ukrainian colonel with the Kiev’s Special Operations Forces, reportedly managed logistics and support for a six-person sabotage team that supposedly carried out the attack, WaPo alleged on Saturday.

“All speculation about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” Chervinsky told the paper, even though it cited official Ukrainian and European sources, as well as other “people knowledgeable about the details of the covert operation.” 

Since the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which were built to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany, were destroyed by underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022, two competing theories have emerged as to who was responsible.

According to a Western media narrative, a team of Ukrainian commandos used a rented yacht to transport explosives to the blast sites; the CIA and European intelligence agencies were made aware of the plot several months beforehand, while President Vladimir Zelensky was reportedly kept out of the loop altogether.

Chervinsky, who is currently being detained in Kiev for acting “without permission” in another clandestine operation, allegedly acted on orders from senior officials reporting to Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny.

The CIA has been heavily involved in Ukrainian affairs since at least 2015, spending “tens of millions” of dollars and maintaining a “significant presence” in Kiev, according to previous Washington Post reporting. However, the US was not involved in the Nord Stream blast operation and the CIA even told the Ukrainians to abort the plan, according to another WaPo piece.

American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed that US President Joe Biden ordered the CIA to blow up the pipelines. Citing sources in the intelligence community, Hersh alleged that CIA divers working with the Norwegian Navy planted remotely-triggered bombs on the lines last summer using a NATO exercise in the region as cover.

Hersh argued that by destroying the pipelines, Washington intended to sever Germany’s energy ties to Russia, thus preventing Berlin from lifting sanctions on Moscow in order to save its gas-dependent economy. Biden warned in early February 2022 that in the event of military action by Russia, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that he “fully agrees” with Hersh’s conclusions. Putin argued that the US benefited from the attack due to its position as a competing gas supplier to Europe.