The latest report reinforces the narrative about a fringe saboteur group acting independently from Kiev leadership and CIA handlers
A Ukrainian military officer, named in a recent Washington Post report as a person who allegedly played a key role in the attack on Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines in 2022, has denied any responsibility while dismissing the claims as “Russian propaganda.”
Roman Chervinsky, a Ukrainian colonel with the nation’s Special Operations Forces was responsible for managing logistics and support for a six-person sabotage team that allegedly carried out the attack, WaPo claimed on Saturday.
“All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” Chervinsky told the Washington Post, even though the paper cited sources among Ukrainian and European officials, as well as other “people knowledgeable about the details of the covert operation.”
After 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 for sabotaging the pipelines.
According to the Western mainstream media narrative, a team of Ukrainian commandos used a rented yacht to transport explosives to the blast sites, with the CIA and European intelligence agencies being made aware of the plot several months beforehand, while President Vladimir Zelensky was allegedly kept out of the loop altogether. Chervinsky, currently detained in Kiev for acting “without permission” in another clandestine operation, allegedly acted on orders from more senior officials reporting to Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny.
The US foreign intelligence service has been heavily involved in Ukrainian affairs since at least 2015, spent “tens of millions” of dollars and maintains a “significant presence” in Kiev, according to the Washington Post’s previous reporting. Yet according to another WaPo piece, the US was not involved in the Nord Stream blast operation and the CIA even told the Ukrainians to abort the plan.
However, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has said that US President Joe Biden ordered the CIA to blow up the pipelines. Citing sources in the intelligence community, Hersh has claimed 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 in particular benefited from the terrorist attack due to its position as a competing gas supplier to Europe.