One of the most significant economic attacks in the history of the European Union, the bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, was orchestrated by a senior Ukrainian military officer with ties to Kyiv’s intelligence services, The Washington Post reported.
In a report published in conjunction with the German news magazine Der Speigel, The Washington Post, citing unnamed European and Ukrainian officials, claimed that Colonel Roman Chervinsky, 48, previously of Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces, served as the “coordinator” for the bombing of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that transported natural gas from Russia into Germany.
According to the report, the former senior Ukrainian military officer managed the “logistics and support” for a six-man team which used false identities to rent a sailboat and used deep sea diving equipment to attach bombs to the two underwater pipelines and explode them last September. The Post went on to report that Chervinsky “took orders from more senior Ukrainian officials, who ultimately reported to Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer.”
Chervinsky also reportedly had close ties to top military and security officials after having served in senior roles in Ukraine’s SBU Security Service.
“The officer’s role provides the most direct evidence to date tying Ukraine’s military and security leadership to a controversial act of sabotage that has spawned multiple criminal investigations and that U.S. and Western officials have called a dangerous attack on Europe’s energy infrastructure,” the American newspaper wrote.
No evidence that Moscow was involved in the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea has been found so far, a German investigator has admitted. https://t.co/f7LomNKa0m
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 5, 2023
The report flies in the face of attempts form the Biden administration figures such as Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to blame Moscow for the attack, despite Russian state owned Gazprom being the majority shareholder of Nord Stream 1 and the sole owner of Nord Stream 2.
Although the two pipelines were not active at the time of the sabotage — with Russian President Vladimir Putin shutting them down amid Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine — their destruction severely impacted Russia’s ability to sell energy to Europe, which hitherto was a central component of the Russian economy.
The bombing of the pipelines also forced countries such as Germany to turn to more expensive natural gas shipped across the Atlantic from the United States to meet its needs, which not only negatively impacted Europe’s manufacturing hub economically, but also reduced Moscow’s leverage over Berlin and therefore disincentivised Germany from pushing for a peace settlement. Prior to the war in Ukraine, Germany received half of its natural gas through Nord Stream 1.
According to The Post, some of the officials who spoke of Chervinsky’s role in the pipeline attacks defended his actions as serving Ukraine’s national interests, arguing that it reduced Russia’s ability to fund its war and prevented Putin from using gas as political leverage over Europe.
It remains to be seen how Berlin will react to news of its supposed ally allegedly attacking its critical energy infrastructure and whether it will continue to send billions in aid and weapons to Kyiv.
So far, the governments of Germany, the United States, and Ukraine have not publicly commented on the allegations made in the Washington Post report.
Banning Coal Power When There’s Nothing to Replace it With May be a Mistake After All, Says Germanyhttps://t.co/TshNsbCflC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 1, 2023
For his part, speaking through an attorney, Chervinsky denied any involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines: “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis.”
Chervinsky is currently imprisoned in Kyiv facing charges that he used his position to conduct a plot without permission to lure a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine in July of last year. It is alleged that the unsanctioned operation revealed coordinates of an airfield in Ukraine, leading to a Russian missile strike that killed one soldier and injured 17 others.
However, Chervinsky claims that his actions were sanctioned and his supporters claim that the trial is an attempt to sideline a potential rival of President Volodymyr Zelenksy.
The Post claimed that sources said that Zelensky was likely unaware of the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines, with the mission being purposefully designed to keep the Ukrainian president “out of the loop”.
This contradicts previous comments from Zelensky, who said following reports that the United States was aware of Ukrainian plans to sabotage the pipelines: “I am president and I give orders accordingly… Nothing of the sort has been done by Ukraine. I would never act that way.”
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