A high-ranking Ukrainian military officer was the “coordinator” of the sabotage attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, according to a new report.
A bombshell report from the Washington Post claims that Colonel Roman Chervinsky – who reportedly has “deep ties” to Ukraine’s intelligence services – coordinated the explosive attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.
Citing anonymous Ukrainian and European officials, the Washington Post and German news outlet Der Spiegel reported that Chervinsky was responsible for “managing logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines.”
The outlet noted that Chervinsky “did not act alone and he did not plan the operation.” He allegedly took orders from higher-ranking Ukrainian military officials, who reported to Gen. Valery Zaluzhny – Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer.
Chervinsky’s lawyer reacted to the report by saying, “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis.”
The Ukrainian government did not respond to the damning allegations.
During the Ukraine-Russia war, Chervinsky had been serving in a unit of the country’s Special Operations Forces. The decorated 48-year-old colonel “focused on resistance activity in areas of the country occupied by Russia,” according to sources familiar with Chervinsky’s military role. Chervinsky reportedly served in senior positions in Ukraine’s military intelligence agency and the country’s Security Service.
However, Chervinsky was allegedly arrested in April for his purported involvement in a scheme to lure a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine.
In July 2022, Chervinsky’s plan to bait a Russian pilot allegedly backfired, and resulted in the location of a Ukrainian airfield being revealed. Russia reportedly bombed the airfield – killing a Ukrainian soldier and injuring 17 others.
Chervinsky claimed that he was following orders.
“The operation to recruit the Russian pilot involved units of the SBU, the Air Force, and the Special Operations Forces,” Chervinsky told the Washington Post from a jail in Kyiv. “The operation was approved by the commander in chief Valery Zaluzhny.”
Chervinsky asserts that his arrest is retribution for criticizing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and accusing one of Zelenskyy’s top advisors of spying for Russia.
There were three underwater explosions that caused massive leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea on Sept. 26, 2022. The destruction of the pipelines that had delivered natural gas from Russia to Germany happened seven months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and as winter neared.
The sabotage attack on the Nord Stream pipelines caused increased friction in the region as Moscow and Kyiv’s Western allies engaged in a blame game for the destroyed energy infrastructure.
Immediately after the pipeline explosions, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhaylo Podolyak said, “‘Gas leak’ from NS-1 is nothing more that a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards EU. Russia wants to destabilize economic situation in Europe and cause pre-winter panic. The best response and security investment — tanks for Ukraine. Especially German ones.”
In February, Russia blamed the United States for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.
“Our assumption was that the U.S. and several NATO allies were involved in this disgusting crime,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Russia are conducting investigations into the Nord Stream sabotage.
In March, the New York Times reported that U.S. officials had reviewed intelligence indicating that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. However, the report added that there was no evidence that Zelenskyy, his top lieutenants, or the Ukrainian government were involved in the operation.
Zelenskyy stated in June, “I am president and I give orders accordingly. Nothing of the sort has been done by Ukraine. I would never act that way.”
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