Three months prior to the bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, intelligence sources uncovered a covert plan by the Ukrainian military to sabotage the undersea network.
This revelation sheds light on the brazen act of sabotage that targeted Europe's energy infrastructure, raising concerns about Ukraine's involvement.
The details of the plan, collected by a European intelligence service and shared with the CIA in June 2022, provide specific evidence connecting the Ukrainian government to the attack.
How did this information leak?
The information from the intelligence report, shared on the Discord chat platform by Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, indicates that the Ukrainian military had orchestrated the covert attack.
The report, based on information obtained from a source in Ukraine, was shared with Germany and other European countries last June.
While the source's information could not be immediately verified, it has contributed to the growing suspicion among Western allies regarding Ukraine's role in the sabotage.
The specific details provided in the intelligence report, including the number of operatives and the planned methods of attack, suggest that Western allies have had a basis to suspect Ukraine's involvement for nearly a year.
This suspicion has been further strengthened by German law enforcement investigators, who discovered similarities between the bombing and the information outlined in the European service's report.
While Ukrainian officials have previously denied any involvement in the Nord Stream attack, they have not responded to requests for comment regarding these latest revelations.
The White House has declined to comment on the European report and the alleged Ukrainian military plot.
What is the evidence of Ukraine’s involvement?
The attack on the Nord Stream pipeline occurred on September 26, resulting in massive leaks and damage.
Initially, some Biden administration officials pointed fingers at Russia, but there is currently no conclusive evidence to support their claims.
European officials have privately suggested Ukraine's involvement but have refrained from making such allegations public due to concerns about fracturing the alliance against Russia.
The European intelligence report indicated that the individuals involved in the planned attack reported directly to General Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine's highest-ranking military officer.
By keeping Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky out of the loop, the operation aimed to provide him with plausible deniability and safeguard Western support for Ukraine, particularly in Germany.
Germany, a significant consumer of Russian natural gas, had supported the Nord Stream project despite opposition from other European allies.
The report also revealed that the Ukrainian military operation was put on hold, although the reasons for this are unclear. The planned attack was intended to coincide with a major naval exercise, known as BALTOPS, which took place from June 5 to 17, 2022.
While the CIA initially questioned the credibility of the information provided in the report, it was shared with Germany and other European countries. The intelligence summary, along with other evidence, points to Ukraine's potential involvement in the pipeline bombing.
Despite the geopolitical implications, the United States had concerns about Nord Stream and did not mourn its destruction.
Repairing the pipelines is estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. U.S. intelligence officials have long worried about Ukraine's aggressive operations, which could escalate the conflict into a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
The tension between the United States and Ukraine is evident, with Washington sometimes restraining Ukraine's desire to escalate the conflict further. Western officials have criticized Ukraine for attacks outside its territory that they deemed too provocative and risky.
Western officials in both Washington and Europe have expressed strong concerns and criticism towards Ukraine for carrying out attacks beyond its borders that were deemed excessive.
In a tragic incident in August, a car bomb near Moscow resulted in the death of Daria Dugina.
The attack seemed to be targeted at her father, a well-known Russian nationalist whose writings had influenced the Kremlin's narrative regarding Ukraine.
Western officials have explicitly conveyed to President Zelensky that they hold individuals within his government accountable for this act.
Given its provocative nature, the attack posed a significant risk of triggering a severe response from Russia, according to officials.
As investigations continue, the evidence connecting Ukraine to the Nord Stream pipeline attack underscores the complexity of the geopolitical landscape and the delicate balance of power in the region.
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