Before three explosions tore apart the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, American intelligence agencies apparently learned that Ukraine was preparing a clandestine assault on the infrastructure.
According to The Washington Post, the Biden admin. learned through a key European partner in June 2022 that Ukrainian special forces agents under the command of Ukraine’s top military officer, General Valery Zaluzhny, intended to cause damage to the pipelines. The U.S. intelligence report outlining the information was one of the hundreds of papers that Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira is said to have released online.
Ukraine has long expressed concern about the Nord Stream network. The pipes increased Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas while avoiding Ukrainian pipelines, which, if utilized, would have given the nation a share of the revenues.
International investigations concluded that the pipeline explosions last September seemed to be the result of sabotage. There was widespread worry that Europe wouldn’t have enough electricity to stay warm when the temperatures plummeted as a result of the pipelines being destroyed before winter. By that point, Russia had significantly reduced the quantity of petroleum it was delivering to Europe through the pipelines, perhaps in retribution for Europe’s backing for Ukraine and its sanctions against Russia.
According to the information, Zaluzhny was in charge of the plan, which was provided to the CIA and included a group of six Ukrainian special forces personnel. Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, was not to be informed about the operation.
Investigators have not established if Ukraine planned and executed the assault on the pipeline in September. Significant parallels exist between the operation described to U.S. intelligence three months prior to the assault and how German investigators believe it to have taken place.
German authorities said in March that a crew of six men who rented a boat and sailed the Baltic Sea using false passports is believed to have planted explosives on the pipes. According to the Post, the plan presented to American intelligence agencies in June 2022 said that six agents would charter a boat and use an underwater vehicle to go to the ocean floor and disrupt the pipes.
According to The New York Times, U.S. authorities said in March that fresh information suggested a “pro-Ukrainian group” was responsible for the assault. According to reports, those authorities lacked solid proof connecting Zelensky or his senior lieutenants to the sabotage.
The June U.S. intelligence report’s disclosure comes as Ukraine seems to be beginning its long-awaited counteroffensive over Russia to retake eastern regions of the nation that are still under Russian control.