Award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh previously identified the NATO countries USA and Norway as being behind the terrorist attack on Nord Stream.
Western media have instead presented their own conspiracy theory that Ukraine was behind the attack – something that has now also been highlighted by German investigators and the two media outlets Spiegel and ZDF.
According to the story, the bombs were planted from a pleasure boat rented with a forged passport by a mysterious Ukrainian man.
The bombing of Nord Stream almost a year ago changed the geopolitical situation in Europe at a stroke. Several Western security services have declared that they are investigating the terrorist attack – so far with no official results.
German investigators looking into the attacks are now increasingly convinced that the perpetrators of the operation have links to Ukraine, German magazine Der Spiegel and state-funded broadcaster ZDF reported on Friday.
Für die Sabotage an den Nord-Stream-Pipelines hätten viele ein Motiv: die USA, Polen, die baltischen Staaten, Russland und auch die Ukraine.#frontal auf Spurensuche: Welche Rolle spielte die verdächtige Segelyacht "Andromeda" bei den Anschlägen? https://t.co/B156oZRg9m pic.twitter.com/c2qZ27YzJD
— ZDF (@ZDF) March 17, 2023
So-called sources within the investigation told ZDF that “the evidence pointing to Ukraine is particularly convincing”. The investigators also add that “there is no reliable evidence” that Russia is responsible.
The theory: Operated from a sailing yacht
The investigation focuses on the sailing yacht Andromeda and a six-man commando group believed to have been on board.
This group was allegedly used to place the explosive HMX (also known as Octogen) on the gas lines, explosives that were also allegedly found in the yacht’s cabin.
According to the two media outlets, investigators believe that the group that used the boat was in Ukraine both before and after the attack in late September 2022, based on “technical data” obtained from “anonymous security sources” and “law enforcement agencies”.
Göran Swistek, a naval expert at the German Institute for International and Security Policy (SWP), estimates that at least 40 kilograms of explosives are needed per blast site to cause the enormous damage that occurred, and that the Ukrainian military must therefore be behind it.
– With that amount of explosives, I assume it would not have gone undetected. So I tend to think that it probably came from state sources, from military stocks that were made available for this operation, he told ZDF.
Mysterious man named
The alleged saboteurs are said to have used a fake Moldovan passport to charter the yacht, specifically a young man identified only as “Valery K.” from the Ukrainian city of Dneipr.
Der Spiegel and ZDF report that they have also obtained a picture of the man in military uniform, along with information that they say indicates “Valery K.” served in the 93rd mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian army. According to the investigators, the mysterious man also took part in diving courses.
They admit that they were unable to match the man’s alleged DNA with the traces found on the Andromeda after searching an apartment said to belong to him in the German city of Frankfurt-on-Oder.
Bundestag to be informed
As recently as mid-August, Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that “efforts are being made to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice in Germany as well”. So far, however, the German government has avoided talking openly about the Ukrainian perpetrator theory, referring to investigators at the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.
According to sources, a representative of the office told the German Bundestag in a secret session that an attack of this magnitude could “in principle” be carried out from a sailboat like the Andromeda.
Hersh: "A diversion"
Seymour Hersh has dismissed the Ukraine trail as a mere diversionary tactic and stands by the information cited by insider sources who claim that the explosives were placed by divers during a NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea in a coordinated operation between the US and Norway.
The U.S. decision to involve Norway, in addition to its geographic location near the Nord Stream pipeline, is said to have been due in part to the countries' close military cooperation and the insight and contacts of Norwegian NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg after his time as Norway's prime minister.
According to Hersh's detailed information, the explosives were later remotely detonated by a sonar buoy released from a Boeing P8 Poseidon aircraft on the night of the attack.