Pro-Ukrainian group likely behind Nord Stream sabotage, US officials say

WASHINGTON: New intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggests a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on Nord Stream pipelines last year, a step toward determining responsibility for an act of sabotage that baffled investigators on both sides of the Atlantic for months. US officials said they had no evidence Zelensky of Ukraine or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation.
The brazen attack on the gas pipelines, which connect Russia to Western Europe, fueled public speculation about who was to blame. Ukraine and its allies were seen by some officials as having the most logical potential motive to attack the pipelines. They have opposed the project for years, calling it a national security threat because it would make it easier for Russia to sell gas to Europe. Ukrainian government and military intelligence officials say they played no role in the attack.
US officials said they don’t know much about the perpetrators and their affiliations. Examination of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of the president Cheese fries of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, nor who directed or paid for the operation. US officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details about the strength of the evidence it contains. They said there were no definitive conclusions on this, leaving open the possibility that the operation was carried out informally by a proxy force with ties to the Ukrainian government or its security services.
Some initial American and European speculation centered on possible Russian culpability, although it is unclear what motivation the Kremlin should have sabotaged the pipelines as they have been an important source of revenue and a way for Moscow to exert influence over Europe. US officials said they found no evidence of Russian government involvement in the attack. Officials who reviewed the intelligence said they believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or a combination of both. US officials said no US or UK nationals were involved.


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