New CIA Release Blames Rogue Ukrainian Intelligence Group
According to a New York Times article released May 5, 2023, and a similar article in the Nation, the same day, the CIA has released new information that a group associated with Ukrainian Intelligence agencies, with possible Polish help, disabled the Nordstream pipelines on September 26, 2022. The articles distance any responsibility by Ukrainian President Zelensky, Ukrainian leadership, or the Biden Administration. The articles also allege that Ukraine had secretly developed “very advanced” underwater warfare technology, and that its intelligence agencies had a budget of $4.0 billion. The motive was saving Ukraine, a major natural gas supplier, from economic disaster. A much less sophisticated version of this theme regarding a crew of six, including two divers, on a 50-foot sailing yacht, appeared in the New York Times in March.
According to the Nation article, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, is believed to have been responsible for the Darya Dugina assassination, destroying part of the Kerch Strait Bridge, Spetsnaz (Special Forces) type operations, and drone strikes in Russia, including recent damage to the Kremlin. But the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine (SZRU) has long had a strong interest in halting Nordstream gas.
The SZRU reports directly to President Zelensky, while the Intelligence Directorate reports to the Ministry of Defense. The SZRU is roughly equivalent to internal security functions of the Soviet KGB, British MI5, and US FBI and Homeland Security. The Main Intelligence Directorate is roughly equivalent to the Soviet GRU, which included Spetsnaz, and British MI6, and US CIA.
Since both Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland on January 27, 2022, and President Joe Biden on February 9, 2022, had ominously threatened to “bring an end” to the pipelines if Russia invaded Ukraine, there has never been much doubt outside the most faithful pro-Biden media that the United States bore the main responsibility for the destruction. However, President Biden and his loyal media continually made ridiculous claims that the Russians blew up their own $13 billion dollar investment, ten-years of work, and cash-cow. If the Russians wanted to shut down gas to Germany, all they had to do was throw a switch, which they could easily turn back on and resume their highly profitable return. Russian financial profits were high despite the fact that Russian gas was much cheaper than other resources.
The Russians, who monitor the Baltic Sea and the pipelines closely, quickly indicated that the United States and their British allies were the most likely culprits.
A few days after the September 26, 2022, Nordstream sabotage, John Helmer (Dances with Bears), who is the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, gave his assessment of responsibility:
“The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island wasexecuted by the Polish Navy and special forces. It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.”
Helmer’s assessment was influenced by the fact that the Poles had attempted to sabotage construction of Nordstream II in April 2021 by having the Polish trawler SWI-106 ram the Russian construction ship Fortuna. The ramming was blocked, however, by an intervening Russian Icebreaker, the Vladislav Strizhov.
On February 8, 2023, celebrated Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, published an article entitled “How America Took Out the Nordstream Pipeline.” In this article he named President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as the core planning group and the CIA as the principal agency for carrying out the plan. The final execution order would go directly from Joe Biden to CIA Director William Burns, but Hersh does not indicate Burns was a major advocate of the plan. Hersh added that another person from the Treasury Department needed to be involved. In addition, there were U.S. Navy divers temporarily assigned directly to the CIA and help from the Norwegian Navy. The project was controlled under deceptive language that allowed them to avoid required Congressional scrutiny.
The main motive for shutting down the pipelines was apparently to deter Germany from backing down on its commitment to support Ukraine against Russia and to eliminate its dependence on Russian natural gas. Germany had already foolishly eliminated most of its alternative nuclear and coal energy sources to pursue a “Green” political agenda. German Chancellor Olof Scholz seemed to Victoria Nuland and others to be wobbling in favor of adequate heating and energy for the German people and industry rather than support for the Ukraine War. German Intelligence was notified by the CIA that the Nordstream pipelines might come under attack several weeks in advance of the September 26 execution of the plan. In my opinion, this may have been a warning rather than a courtesy. The question is whether German Chancellor Olof Scholz had been directly informed by the United States that the Nordstream blowup was about to be executed. Judging from diplomatic comments it appears likely that the British and Poles knew about the plans. Judging from the Swedish investigation that refused to let any other nation participate or learn the results of the investigation, the results had to be embarrassing to NATO.
Nordstream 1 and 2 are each double four-foot diameter pipelines stretching 759 and 767 miles from two Russian locations on the Gulf of Finland to northeastern Germany. Nordstream 1 had been pumping gas since 2011, and Nordstream 2 had just become operational but was not yet pumping gas. Nordstream 2 parallels Nordstream 1 to its south with a separation of less than one mile. The Baltic Sea depth on their track south of Bornholm is about 265 feet. Nordstream 1 was already supplying 40 percent of Germany’s natural gas. The total cost of the pipelines was $25.4 billion, of which the Russian energy company Gazprom owned 51 percent or $13 billion in cost. German, Austrian, Swiss, Dutch, and British energy companies owned the other 49 percent, of which the heaviest share belonged to Germany.
The Nordstream blowup would normally be considered an act of war against Russia and Germany and possibly nations investing in or critically dependent upon Nordstream fuel. The impact on the German economy has been severe. Other nations have suffered significantly. The misery and human costs in inflationary heating prices, unemployment, and comfort and health are painful and significant. They are a contributing factor to widespread demonstrations and political upheaval in Europe. Blaming the damage and misery on a rogue pro-Ukrainian intelligence group would be far less politically damaging than blaming it on the United States or key NATO allies, including the Zelensky government in Ukraine.
Moreover, this is all tied to the Ukrainian War that grew from the U.S. State Department/CIA backed Maidan Revolution and coup in 2014. This resulted in a Ukrainian government that exercises strong religious and ethnic discrimination and violence against the large Russian ethnic population in Ukraine. That Russian minority is a 60 to 90 percent majority in eastern and southern Ukraine and Crimea. This ethnic war killed 14,000 people from 2014 to February 2022. Increased Ukrainian Army shelling of Russian ethnic areas helped provoke the Russian invasion in February 2022. At least another thousand Russian ethnic civilians have been killed by Ukrainian artillery since February 2022 in Donetsk Oblast alone. Contrary to outrageous propaganda seen in the mainstream TV media, Ukraine is not winning the war. Ukrainian KIA (killed in action) are running seven times the Russian KIA estimates. [Estimated less than 26,000 Russian forces versus over 182,000 Ukrainian forces] The Russians have an enormous artillery ammunition and firepower advantage of nearly ten to one.
ABC gets the propaganda Pinocchio of the week by saying 20,000 Russian soldiers have been killed at Bakhmut alone. Did they mistakenly use a minimized estimate for Ukrainian KIA in Bakhmut? Bakhmut has been a Russian artillery “meatgrinder” for the Ukrainian Army. ABC is becoming the new CNN and MSNBC. The Biden Administration may soon have to get the war and Nordstream issues out of public sight for the coming 2024 elections.
Hersh has indicated that the CIA was a major factor in enabling and executing the Nordstream blowups. I leave to the readers, whether they want to give much credibility to the CIA and New York Times on their latest whodunit contribution. I believe Congress should investigate these matters, including American policy on influencing foreign elections.
My own opinion is that Hersh has it mostly right except that what he has released is probably not all he feels he can release without putting too much heat on his sources, which I believe are several.