Daily Mail

Nord Stream gas pipelines blown up by pro-Kyiv group, say US officials

- Mail Foreign Service

A ‘PRO-UKRAINIAN group’ was responsibl­e for sabotaging the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, US officials believe.

The officials had no evidence implicatin­g Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky in the pipeline bombing, the New York Times reported.

But the attack benefited Ukraine by severely damaging Russia’s means of reaping millions by selling natural gas to Western Europe.

At the same time, it added to the pressure of high energy prices on key Ukrainian allies in Western Europe, particular­ly Germany. US intelligen­ce sources suggested the perpetrato­rs behind the sabotage were ‘opponents of Vladimir Putin’, the report said.

But the officials had no indication of who exactly took part and who organised and paid for the operation, which would have required skilled divers and explosives experts.

They believed those involved were probably Ukrainian or Russian nationals, and that none was the United States or Britain. The pipelines were ruptured by explosives on September 26 – seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Several countries were said at the time to have motives for the action, including Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Britain and the US.

Last month, veteran American investigat­ive journalist Seymour Hersh reported that the US was behind the operation and that Norway had assisted.

The White House blasted Hersh’s report, which cited an unnamed source, as ‘complete fiction’.

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