The name of the Ukrainian suspect behind the sabotage “has been circulating in intelligence circles for months,” the outlet claims
Western intelligence agencies almost immediately determined that last year’s Nord Stream blasts had been orchestrated by a person with ties to Ukraine, but chose to conceal this information in order to avoid a diplomatic row between Kiev and Berlin, The Times reported on Wednesday.
According to the outlet, a Scandinavian delegation learned a week after the September 2022 attack on the gas pipeline, which connects Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, that it was staged “by a private venture originating in Ukraine.” They reportedly received this information at an intelligence briefing in Brussels.
“The name of the suspected private sponsor [of the attack]… has been circulating in intelligence circles for months but not revealed,” the report said.
Without publishing any names, The Times identified the culprit as a Ukrainian not affiliated with the government in Kiev. It also alleged that the suspect “appears to have left a peculiar calling card,” without elaborating.
The delegation was also reportedly told to deflect any questions about why investigation of the matter was proceeding at such a slow pace.
The outlet suggested that NATO officials apparently wanted to “protect Ukraine from a public spat with Germany.” At the time of the incident, Berlin was reluctant to supply Kiev with Leopard 2 tanks without allied support. Germany changed its mind in January 2023, with several other Western nations joining in with proposed tank deliveries.
The report comes after The New York Times claimed on Tuesday, citing sources, that a “pro-Ukrainian group” may have been behind the attack on the pipelines. The same day, German media alleged that investigators looking into the incident had found that the yacht reportedly used in the attack belonged to a Polish-based company owned by two Ukrainians.
Commenting on these reports, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the allegations look like “a coordinated media hoax campaign” and an attempt to deflect attention from the real culprits.
Last month, eminent US journalist Seymour Hersh released an investigation which laid the blame on Washington for orchestrating the Nord Stream attacks. While the White House has denied any responsibility, in January, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested that Washington must be “very gratified to know” that Nord Stream 2 is no longer operational.
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