A former senior Ukrainian official was the coordinator of the explosions that ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines, the Washington Post reported, citing Ukrainian officials and European sources, and in conjunction with German periodical Der Spiegel.
Roman Chervinsky, a former commander of one of the Ukrainian special forces units, was the “coordinator of the Nord Stream operation” and managed a six-person team that carried out the devastating multibillion-dollar infrastructure attack in September 2022, according to the report.
The outlet said Chervinsky and the group of six people rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines.
Chervinsky did not act alone and did not plan the operation, but was obeying the orders of high-ranking officers who ultimately answered to Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer, Valery Zaluzhny, the Post said, citing people familiar with his role.
In February, Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, alleged that U.S. Navy divers laid bombs that destroyed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under a direct order from President Joe Biden.
Seymour Hersh reported the Nord Stream pipeline was blown up in a covert operation authorized by President Joe Biden.(Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post via Getty Images/File)
National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson John Kirby repeatedly denied the United States was involved in the explosions following Hersh’s reporting.
“It’s a completely false story. There is no truth to it, Shannon,” Kirby told host Shannon Bream, on “Fox News Sunday” in February. “Not a shred of it. It is not true. The United States, and no proxies of the United States, had anything to do with that, nothing.”
The White House, the CIA and the NSC all said that Hersh’s report was “utterly false and complete fiction.”
Gas seen leaking into the Baltic Sea after Nord Stream was suspected of sabotage. (Getty Images/File)
In a joint letter to council members in the UN, Denmark, Sweden and Germany reiterated that acts of sabotage against the pipelines were “unacceptable, endanger international security and give cause for our deep concern.”