US planted explosives that destroyed Nord Stream, claims Seymour Hersh
Acclaimed investigative journalist and Pulitzer prize winner Seymour Hersh reports that the United States was behind the explosions that destroyed Nord Stream.
An account holding the name of famed US investigative journalist and Pulitzer award winner Seymour Hersh said on Wednesday that US Navy divers planted explosives to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines last year.
"Last June, the Navy divers, operating under the cover of a widely publicized mid-summer NATO exercise known as BALTOPS 22, planted the remotely triggered explosives that, three months later, destroyed three of the four Nord Stream pipelines, according to a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning," Hersh wrote in his Substack newsletter.
The White House responded and dismissed the claims as "false and complete fiction."
Hersh later confirmed to the Russian news agency Sputnik that he authored the investigative report in question.
"Of course," Hersh told Sputnik when asked whether he authored the article published on a Substack account created shortly before its publication.
Flightradar24 data showed in late September that US military helicopters habitually and on numerous occasions circled for hours over the site of the Nord Stream pipeline incident near Bornholm Island.
A US Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter spent hours loitering over the location of the damaged natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea near Bornholm for several days in a row, September 1, 2, and 3, in particular.
According to the article, the United States decided to sabotage the pipelines after a lengthy debate that lasted more than nine months inside the US national security community.
"Last June, the Navy divers, operating under the cover of a widely publicized mid-summer NATO exercise known as BALTOPS 22, planted the remotely triggered explosives that, three months later, destroyed three of the four Nord Stream pipelines, according to a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning," the report read.
The revelation of the report prompted Moscow to ask the United States to comment, saying it had repeatedly said that the United States and NATO member states were involved in the explosions at Nord Stream, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
"We have repeatedly stated Russia's position on the involvement of the United States and NATO, noting that they did not hide it, bragging to the whole world about their intention to destroy the civilian infrastructure through which Europe received Russian energy resources," Zakharova said.
"We have also regularly underscored the reluctance of Denmark, Germany, and Sweden to conduct an open investigation and the opposition to Russia's participation in it. And this is despite the fact that our country has suffered huge costs. Now, the White House should comment on all these facts," she added.
The explosions occurred on September 26 at three of the four strings of Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines, which are designed to transport a total of 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe each year.
Separate investigations were launched by Germany, Denmark, and Sweden into the suspected sabotage, with German media reporting trust issues among the three EU nations. The Russian prosecutor's office announced an investigation into possible international terrorism.
However, Denmark and Sweden have barred Russia from investigating the attack. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this exclusion highlighted the West's double standards.
Moreover, the German investigators probing the explosions that hit Russia's Nord Stream pipelines do not have any evidence at hand proving that Russia is behind the catastrophic blasts that took place in the Baltic Sea in September 2022, German Attorney General Peter Frank said on Saturday Die Welt reported.
Frank revealed that two research ships took water and soil samples, as well as samples from the remains of the pipelines, noting that the whole incident was "comprehensively documented". "We are currently evaluating all of this forensically."
Additionally, Russian Ambassador to Denmark Vladimir Barbin said Denmark does not provide any information on the progress and results of the investigation into the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines, which raises concerns.
Barbin said that the Danish side is currently not providing any information on the progress and results of the investigation into gas pipeline sabotage.
With the anniversary of the Ukraine war nearing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was asked about Russia's plans to mark this date. The Foreign Minister noted that there were many things that need to be remembered and demonstrated that would depict how the US establishes its hegemony.
"We are preparing a sort of a report of what happened this year, what we managed to discover, and this is not only the US military biological programs, from which they are trying to disown, they lie, as always, and not only the direct participation of the United States in the explosions at Nord Stream," Lavrov said.
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Lavrov said that the statements made by Victoria Nuland, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, concerning the Nord Stream pipeline explosions show that Washington was complicit in the incident.
Nuland said that "the [US] administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2" would no longer be operational.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the situation on the West. "It’s clear to everyone who benefits from this. And the one who benefits from this is the one who did it," Putin stressed at the time.