Featured Image
Gas pipes, connections, equipment and pressure reducers at the site of Gazprom's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Landing in GermanyStefan Dinse/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — German news outlet Der Spiegel has published an extensive report about investigations into the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, concluding that “all the leads point” toward Ukraine being responsible for the attack. However, others say evidence of U.S. involvement must not be ignored.

The report, conducted by a team of journalists from Der Spiegel and Germany’s public broadcasting network ZDF, described the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022 as “the most significant act of sabotage in European history” and “an attack on Germany.”

Investigators from the German Federal Court of Justice said that the operation was meant to “inflict[ing] lasting damage to the functionality of the state and its facilities. In this sense, this is an attack on the internal security of the state.”

Detonations in the Baltic Sea on September 26, 2022, caused severe damage to the two major underwater gas pipelines between Russia and Germany, rendering them unusable. Since then, speculation and theories about the perpetrators of the attack and why they did it have been floated by politicians, journalists, and military experts. Ukraine, Russia, Poland, the U.S., and the U.K. have been discussed as the most likely countries responsible for the act of sabotage against the critical energy infrastructure.

READ: US gov’t accused of sabotaging major European gas pipeline after Biden threatened to ‘end’ it

The Spiegel report cites an unnamed senior security official who said, “This is the most important investigation of Germany’s postwar history because of its potential political implications.”

If it were to be confirmed that Ukraine or worse, a NATO member state like the U.S. or the U.K., was behind the sabotage of German infrastructure, this could completely change the course Germany takes not only in aiding Ukraine in the current war with Russia, but it might break up the NATO alliance altogether.

On the other hand, if Russia sabotaged the pipelines (partly owned by the Russian energy company Gazprom), this could activate Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, triggering the mutual defense clause and leading to direct military action by NATO members against Russia.

According to the investigation from Der Spiegel, which is primarily based on information from intelligence agencies of various countries, a squad of six people charted the small yacht named Andromeda under false identities, sailed out to the Baltic Sea, and placed the explosives next to the pipelines. The perpetrators must have been professional military divers to dive around 80 meters (262 feet) deep and carry out the operation. The explosives were remotely detonated days later when the crew had already been off the ship for a while.

The Spiegel cites sources who said that “investigators are certain that the saboteurs were in Ukraine before and after the attack.”

“And the possible motives also seem clear to international security circles: The aim, they say[s], was to deprive Moscow of an important source of revenue for financing the war against Ukraine,” the authors of the investigative report state, “and at the same time to deprive Putin once and for all of his most important instrument of blackmail against the German government.”

The article concluded that “the overall picture formed by the puzzle[s] pieces of technical information has grown quite clear” and that “investigators have become so convinced that the leads now point in just one single direction. Towards Ukraine.”

Is Ukraine being used as a scapegoat by the U.S. Deep State?

Shortly after the Nord Stream attack happened in 2022, people who suggested that anyone but Russia could have been responsible for the Nord Stream attacks were met with ridicule and called “conspiracy theorists” by the mainstream media and Western politicians.

The idea that Russia blew up its own pipelines when it would have been able to control how much gas flows to Germany and use it to apply pressure on Germany seemed too ridiculous and nonsensical for most people to believe, though. Der Spiegel cites a federal prosecutor from Germany who admitted that “we don’t have any evidence or confirmation” of any Russian involvement in the attacks.

While Ukraine certainly had the motive to carry out such an attack on Russian and German infrastructure, it remains highly questionable if a Ukrainian squad acted independently without support from the U.S. or other NATO members.

“The Americans, in particular, were vocal about their opposition to the project,” Der Spiegel wrote in its report. “Indeed, Washington thought Nord Stream 2 was so dangerous that it warned Germany that its completion would significantly harm U.S.-German relations.”

Despite this, Der Spiegel quickly dismissed the possibility of U.S. involvement in the Nord Stream attacks.

However, several high-ranking members of the Biden administration have expressed their discontent with economic cooperation between Russia and Germany through the Nord Stream project. President Joe Biden himself appeared to threaten to destroy the gas pipelines in comments he made in February 2022, shortly before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“If Russia invades [Ukraine] …  then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,” Biden said. A reporter then asked the president how he would do that since the pipeline is under Germany’s control. Biden responded, “I promise you we’ll be able to do it.”

U.S. Under Secretary Victoria Nuland made similar comments in January 2022. “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” Nuland stated.

Speculations about U.S. involvement were further amplified when Radek Sikorski, a former Polish defense minister and current member of the European Parliament who has close ties to the Biden administration, tweeted, “Thank you, USA” alongside a picture of the water surface above one of the gas leaks. The parliamentarian later deleted the post.

Journalists Seymour Hersh and Tucker Carlson and left-wing economist Jeffrey Sachs have all expressed their belief that the U.S. is behind the Nord Stream attacks. Hersh called the story about divers from a yacht blowing up the pipelines a “complete hoax.”

READ: Nord Stream pipeline sabotage dealt a blow to Europe and Russia but not the US

Assuming that members of the U.S. military or intelligence agencies were involved in the Nord Stream attacks, blaming the attack on Ukraine would be convenient in order to avoid a political catastrophe. Der Spiegel provides a possible solution to the problem that would not require sacrificing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Instead, one could claim that Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi commanded the attack without Zelenskyy’s knowledge or approval.

Der Spiegel wrote, “According to the information, the men [who blew up the pipelines] were under the command of Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had apparently not been informed of the plan.”

“Intelligence experts and security policy experts, however, consider it unlikely that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy was in on it: In cases of sabotage, the political leadership is often deliberately kept in the dark so that they can plausibly deny any knowledge later on,” the Spiegel article states.

Blaming the Nord Stream operation on a Ukrainian general and using him as the scapegoat would undoubtedly be a way for the U.S. Deep State to avoid the breakdown of the Western alliance and carry on with business as usual.