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Senior Ukrainian officer coordinated Nord Stream blasts – The Washington Post

A Ukrainian colonel identified as Roman Chervinsky was “integral” to the sabotage operation, the outlet claims

A Ukrainian military officer serving with the nation’s Special Operations Forces played a key role in the high-profile attack on the Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines in autumn 2022, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing its sources among the Ukrainian and other European officials as well as “people knowledgeable about the details of the covert operation.”

Identified as Roman Chervinsky, a Ukrainian colonel, 48, was reportedly responsible for managing logistics and support for a six-person sabotage team that carried out the attack, WaPo said. The man reportedly had deep ties with Ukrainian intelligence and the military. 

He allegedly served with a Special Operations Forces unit responsible for coordinating sabotage and subversive activities on the territories controlled by the Russian forces. The officer also occupied senior positions in the Ukrainian military intelligence and the national security service (SBU) and was “personally close to key military and security leaders,” the US media outlet said. 

Chervinsky reported to Major General Viktor Hanushchak, who, in turn, communicated directly with Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, according to WaPo. 

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The officer did not lead the Nord Stream sabotage operation, WaPo reported, adding that he also did not act alone and was not responsible for its planning but was merely acting on orders from more senior Ukrainian officials reporting to Zaluzhny. 

Chervinsky himself denied any role in the sabotage through his attorney. “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 to the US media outlet. The officer was arrested in April 2023 on charges of abusing his power in another Ukrainian intelligence operation. The man claimed his arrest was politically motivated and accused senior officials in President Vladimir Zelensky’s administration, including his top adviser, Andrey Yermak, of being Russian “spies.” 

In August, the German media reported that all evidence in the Nord Stream sabotage case points to Ukraine. Those familiar with the probe “consider the clues [pointing to] Ukraine to be particularly convincing,” Germany’s ZDF broadcaster said at that time, adding that “there is no reliable evidence” that would suggest Russia could be behind the attack.

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The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, built to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany, were destroyed by underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022. The Western media have since repeatedly reported that the evidence found in this case points to Ukraine. Kiev denied its involvement in the incident.

The attack was allegedly carried out by a group of saboteurs that chartered a sailing yacht, ‘Andromeda’, using a fake passport. The vessel was then reportedly used to transport the explosives to the blast site. According to the German media’s August report, the group that chartered the yacht was in Ukraine before and after the explosions took place.

Although several European nations, including Germany, Sweden and Denmark, launched their probes into the incident, none of the claims made by the media about the identities of the alleged perpetrators were either confirmed or denied by the officials to date.

 

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