- A senior Ukrainian military official with ties to the country's intelligence services is said to have allegedly played a key role in the bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines in September last year, according to a joint investigation published in the Washington Post and the German newspaper Der Spiegel on Saturday.1
- Drawing on a number of unnamed officials from Ukraine and across Europe, as well as sources reportedly with direct knowledge of the operation, the outlets claimed that the decorated colonel Roman Chervinsky was the 'coordinator' of the attack. He allegedly managed logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat with false identities to lay explosive charges on the pipelines using deep-sea diving equipment.2
- Chervinsky is currently under pre-trial detention in Ukraine for an unauthorized intelligence plot to lure a Russian fighter pilot to defect to Ukraine, which ended with a deadly Russian attack on a Ukrainian air base. Officials in Kyiv did not respond to requests for comments on the latest allegations.3
- Since explosions ruptured three out of four pipelines delivering Russian gas to Europe off the Danish island of Bornholm, no actor has claimed responsibility for the incident. Though several countries have launched official investigations, none have yet provided definitive assessments as to who was responsible.4
- There have also been a number of press reports into who allegedly carried out the operation. In March, German outlets reported, citing findings from local officials, that a six-person team with diving gear and a sailboat was likely responsible for the operation, with the New York Times adding that the alleged pro-Ukrainian saboteurs were probably Ukrainian or Russian nationals — or some combination of the two.5
- Meanwhile, a report from veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, citing US intelligence officials, posited in February that the attack was carried out by specialist US Navy divers during a NATO naval exercise in the same area as where the explosive charges were placed. The White House and US intelligence officials, however, have denied such claims.6
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Washington Post. The evidence suggests that the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines was carried out by a six-person Ukrainian crew under the coordination of Chervinsky who was likely taking orders from more senior officials. Though the Dutch military intelligence agency had reported a similar operation months earlier, the US had thought it had been called off after contacts with Ukraine's top general.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Asia Times. Mainstream media was never really interested in finding out who was responsible for the Nord Stream attacks. However, after Seymour Hersh's bombshell story blaming the US, American officials started to spread the inadequate sailboat narrative as a cover for the real perpetrator.