Russia has claimed that the New York Times report about a ‘pro-Ukraine group’ being responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline attack is a deliberate form of disinformation to distract from the fact that the U.S. was responsible for the blasts.
The NYT said that a “pro-Ukrainian group” had sabotaged the pipelines, using a team with as few as six people involved in the mission, contradicting previous assumptions that only a state would have had the resources to carry out the operation.
The report was very careful to explicitly state that no Americans or Brits were involved in the attack.
A few hours later, German media outlets reported that the vessel involved in the plot, a yacht, had been identified as being rented from a Poland-based company which belonged to a pair of Ukrainians.
The reports contradicted the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who wrote last month that the pipelines were destroyed by the US as part of a covert operation.
According to Hersh’s sources, the explosives were planted in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise and were detonated three months later with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy.
One source told Hersh that the plotters knew the covert operation was an “act of war,” with some in the CIA and State Department warning, “Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.”
Russia reacted to the New York Times report by dismissing it as a propaganda ploy designed to obfuscate the truth.
“I wonder who allows such leaks, filling the media scene with them?” asked Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “The answer is: those who do not want to conduct an investigation in the legal field and are going to divert the attention of the audience from the facts in every possible way.”
Andrey Ledenev, Minister Counselor of the Russian Embassy in the United States, said the report served to protect the true culprits behind the attack.
“We have no faith in the “impartiality” of the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence. We perceive anonymous “leaks” as nothing more than an attempt to confuse those who are sincerely trying to get to the bottom of things in this egregious crime. Shift the blame from the statesmen who ordered and coordinated the attacks in the Baltic Sea to some abstract individuals,” Ledenev said.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said the New York Times story had “instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field” and was intended to distract from the facts presented in Hersh’s piece.
“Obviously, those who have masterminded the [Nord Stream] attack want to divert attention. Obviously, this is a coordinated media hoax campaign,” he asserted.
As we previously highlighted, both China and Hungary have called for a full international investigation into the pipeline attack under the auspices of the United Nations.