Baltic Pipeline Discussion (Current Events)

That does seem pretty flimsy, though… “It’s not such a leap to think” is not that compelling of an argument. I feel like if they had even a shred of evidence of a Russian ship there at the time, or an intercepted conversation indicating the Russians blew it up, they would be shouting that from the rooftops. Instead it’s this hemming and hawing, we may never know who did it, etc.
I agree with this statement. The longer this goes without an official charge against an alleged culprit, the more I believe the it was done by NATO, or at least a NATO nation.
 
I agree with this statement. The longer this goes without an official charge against an alleged culprit, the more I believe the it was done by NATO, or at least a NATO nation.
There's no point. You'd only get yourself in a situation where you then would have to "react" in some fashion or other. Against Russia that is, all risks included, and that because of what appears to be just another one-man side-freakshow. A very dangerous situation to say the least, grossly incompatible with the alliances's handling of the wider crisis so far, and completely unnecessary to boot. Why giving them credit, for free? Because they asked for it? Or who is? It's not like Russia could be afraid of the bad boy image. That would only amount to playing the hybrid war game by their rules already, to do what can be expected. Monitoring countless actual war crimes as are happening in Ukraine each day, and not getting tired while gathering evidence for all that is relevant, and where Western governments are well advised to focus attention and invest their energies now. Moscow doesn't dictate us focus. Besides, distracting from that is just one out of a good array of possible motives for the bombing, even though Putin had a solid personal one too: to deter other big hitters within Russia, friends and/or rivals alike (you never know) who might have come to think the president stands in the way of their big gas business, and future. Not an implausible threat, even for paranoid Putin and in Russia that is already a matter of life and death. So if the bombing, of what as everyone knows ultimately is Russia's own infrastructure, was in fact not just self-inflicted but mainly inward-directed, then that's just another sane reason to hang back for Western countries, NATO or otherwise. Trying instead to convince people who are already buying into NATO conspiracy esoterica seems no more promising. There's no "official charge" that could ever placate them, such is the nature of conspiracy.

I'm not in any way downplaying the sabotage. We've witnessed an intentional ecological catastrophe of tremendous dimension, there's no excuse for that. I'm just suggesting that Russia was obviously still heeding red lines (outside NATO waters, no ships or humans in danger) and that it doesn't appear to be quite enough to unleash WW III. If Bucha wasn't.
 
Highly excerpted, I recommend reading the full story:
Article:

How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline

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 Norwegians also had a solution to the crucial question of when the operation should take place. Every June, for the past 21 years, the American Sixth Fleet, whose flagship is based in Gaeta, Italy, south of Rome, has sponsored a major NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea involving scores of allied ships throughout the region. The current exercise, held in June, would be known as Baltic Operations 22, or BALTOPS 22. The Norwegians proposed this would be the ideal cover to plant the mines.

The Americans provided one vital element: they convinced the Sixth Fleet planners to add a research and development exercise to the program. The exercise, as made public by the Navy, involved the Sixth Fleet in collaboration with the Navy’s “research and warfare centers.” The at-sea event would be held off the coast of Bornholm Island and involve NATO teams of divers planting mines, with competing teams using the latest underwater technology to find and destroy them.

It was both a useful exercise and ingenious cover. The Panama City boys would do their thing and the C4 explosives would be in place by the end of BALTOPS22. [...]

The C4 attached to the pipelines would be triggered by a sonar buoy dropped by a plane on short notice, but the procedure involved the most advanced signal processing technology. Once in place, the delayed timing devices attached to any of the four pipelines could be accidentally triggered by the complex mix of ocean background noises throughout the heavily trafficked Baltic Sea—from near and distant ships, underwater drilling, seismic events, waves and even sea creatures. To avoid this, the sonar buoy, once in place, would emit a sequence of unique low frequency tonal sounds—much like those emitted by a flute or a piano—that would be recognized by the timing device and, after a pre-set hours of delay, trigger the explosives.

On September 26, 2022, a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane made a seemingly routine flight and dropped a sonar buoy. The signal spread underwater, initially to Nord Stream 2 and then on to Nord Stream 1. A few hours later, the high-powered C4 explosives were triggered and three of the four pipelines were put out of commission.


About the author:
Article:
[Seymour Hersh's] journalism and publishing awards include the 1970 Pulitzer Prize, the 2004 National Council of Teachers of English George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language,[86] two National Magazine Awards, five George Polk Awards - making him that award's most honored laureate - and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

[...]

Critics have accused Hersh of being a conspiracy theorist. He has been criticised for contradicting the official account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden and for questioning the claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on Syrian civilians.[39][26] In 2015, Vox's Max Fisher wrote that "Hersh has appeared increasingly to have gone off the rails. His stories, often alleging vast and shadowy conspiracies, have made startling — and often internally inconsistent — accusations, based on little or no proof beyond a handful of anonymous "officials".[6]

Use of anonymous sources

There has been sustained criticism of Hersh's use of anonymous sources.[67][73][74][26] Critics, including Edward Jay Epstein and Amir Taheri, say he is over-reliant on them.[67][73][74] Taheri, for example, when reviewing Hersh's Chain of Command (2004), complained:

As soon as he has made an assertion he cites a 'source' to back it. In every case this is either an un-named former official or an unidentified secret document passed to Hersh in unknown circumstances. […] By my count Hersh has anonymous 'sources' inside 30 foreign governments and virtually every department of the U.S. government.[73]

In response to an article in The New Yorker in which Hersh alleged that the U.S. government was planning a strike on Iran, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bryan G. Whitman said, "This reporter has a solid and well-earned reputation for making dramatic assertions based on thinly sourced, unverifiable anonymous sources."[75]

In his Bin Laden story, "Hersh relied at least 55 times on an anonymous retired senior intelligence official."[26] Slate magazine's James Kirchick wrote, "Readers are expected to believe that the story of the Bin Laden assassination is a giant ‘fairy tale’ on the word of a single, unnamed source... Hersh's problem is that he evinces no skepticism whatsoever toward what his crank sources tell him, which is ironic considering how cynical he is regarding the pronouncements of the U.S. national security bureaucracy."[26][76] Politico wrote in 2015 that Hersh's reporting had increasingly been called into question due to "his almost exclusive reliance on anonymous sources".[77]

David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, maintains that he is aware of the identity of all of Hersh's unnamed sources, telling the Columbia Journalism Review that "I know every single source that is in his pieces. ... Every 'retired intelligence officer,' every general with reason to know, and all those phrases that one has to use, alas, by necessity, I say, 'Who is it? What's his interest?' We talk it through."[78]
 
To avoid this, the sonar buoy, once in place, would emit a sequence of unique low frequency tonal sounds—much like those emitted by a flute or a piano—that would be recognized by the timing device and, after a pre-set hours of delay, trigger the explosives.
This ought to be findable/have been found by Sweden's hydrophone network.

There ought to also be a 4th charge that didn't go off, which might have been removed subsequently?
 
Highly excerpted, I recommend reading the full story:
Article:

How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline

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 Norwegians also had a solution to the crucial question of when the operation should take place. Every June, for the past 21 years, the American Sixth Fleet, whose flagship is based in Gaeta, Italy, south of Rome, has sponsored a major NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea involving scores of allied ships throughout the region. The current exercise, held in June, would be known as Baltic Operations 22, or BALTOPS 22. The Norwegians proposed this would be the ideal cover to plant the mines.

The Americans provided one vital element: they convinced the Sixth Fleet planners to add a research and development exercise to the program. The exercise, as made public by the Navy, involved the Sixth Fleet in collaboration with the Navy’s “research and warfare centers.” The at-sea event would be held off the coast of Bornholm Island and involve NATO teams of divers planting mines, with competing teams using the latest underwater technology to find and destroy them.

It was both a useful exercise and ingenious cover. The Panama City boys would do their thing and the C4 explosives would be in place by the end of BALTOPS22. [...]

The C4 attached to the pipelines would be triggered by a sonar buoy dropped by a plane on short notice, but the procedure involved the most advanced signal processing technology. Once in place, the delayed timing devices attached to any of the four pipelines could be accidentally triggered by the complex mix of ocean background noises throughout the heavily trafficked Baltic Sea—from near and distant ships, underwater drilling, seismic events, waves and even sea creatures. To avoid this, the sonar buoy, once in place, would emit a sequence of unique low frequency tonal sounds—much like those emitted by a flute or a piano—that would be recognized by the timing device and, after a pre-set hours of delay, trigger the explosives.

On September 26, 2022, a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane made a seemingly routine flight and dropped a sonar buoy. The signal spread underwater, initially to Nord Stream 2 and then on to Nord Stream 1. A few hours later, the high-powered C4 explosives were triggered and three of the four pipelines were put out of commission.


About the author:
Article:
[Seymour Hersh's] journalism and publishing awards include the 1970 Pulitzer Prize, the 2004 National Council of Teachers of English George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language,[86] two National Magazine Awards, five George Polk Awards - making him that award's most honored laureate - and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

[...]

Critics have accused Hersh of being a conspiracy theorist. He has been criticised for contradicting the official account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden and for questioning the claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on Syrian civilians.[39][26] In 2015, Vox's Max Fisher wrote that "Hersh has appeared increasingly to have gone off the rails. His stories, often alleging vast and shadowy conspiracies, have made startling — and often internally inconsistent — accusations, based on little or no proof beyond a handful of anonymous "officials".[6]

Use of anonymous sources

There has been sustained criticism of Hersh's use of anonymous sources.[67][73][74][26] Critics, including Edward Jay Epstein and Amir Taheri, say he is over-reliant on them.[67][73][74] Taheri, for example, when reviewing Hersh's Chain of Command (2004), complained:

As soon as he has made an assertion he cites a 'source' to back it. In every case this is either an un-named former official or an unidentified secret document passed to Hersh in unknown circumstances. […] By my count Hersh has anonymous 'sources' inside 30 foreign governments and virtually every department of the U.S. government.[73]

In response to an article in The New Yorker in which Hersh alleged that the U.S. government was planning a strike on Iran, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bryan G. Whitman said, "This reporter has a solid and well-earned reputation for making dramatic assertions based on thinly sourced, unverifiable anonymous sources."[75]

In his Bin Laden story, "Hersh relied at least 55 times on an anonymous retired senior intelligence official."[26] Slate magazine's James Kirchick wrote, "Readers are expected to believe that the story of the Bin Laden assassination is a giant ‘fairy tale’ on the word of a single, unnamed source... Hersh's problem is that he evinces no skepticism whatsoever toward what his crank sources tell him, which is ironic considering how cynical he is regarding the pronouncements of the U.S. national security bureaucracy."[26][76] Politico wrote in 2015 that Hersh's reporting had increasingly been called into question due to "his almost exclusive reliance on anonymous sources".[77]

David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, maintains that he is aware of the identity of all of Hersh's unnamed sources, telling the Columbia Journalism Review that "I know every single source that is in his pieces. ... Every 'retired intelligence officer,' every general with reason to know, and all those phrases that one has to use, alas, by necessity, I say, 'Who is it? What's his interest?' We talk it through."[78]
Seems the ball is now in the court of the Swedes and Danes, no doubt their foreign ministries and militaries will be asked about Hersh's claims. If their investigations of the pipelines damages revealed who was responsible, and it was not the US, naming the saboteurs will be the only way to clear the US. They will also be expected to provide evidence to support their claim of whatever nation they blame.

Of course they could continue to stonewall, but such would not look good for the US and NATO. Or at least it would give the Russians a point to foot stomp and a propaganda advantage.
 
Seymour Hersh was a big deal with Watergate and Vietnam, but somewhere along the line he slipped. He was neck deep in the Niger yellowcake forgeries, and since then his stories have slipped father and farther from verifiable reality (with a notable exception of Abu Ghraib, which he reported on months after the AP broke the story).

I would hesitate to call him a conspiracy theorist but he has indulged in enough false flag theories around Syria and Iran and skirted enough blood libel that if he were to put the words Jewish Space Laser in a story I wouldn't be caught off guard.
 
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I agree with this statement. The longer this goes without an official charge against an alleged culprit, the more I believe the it was done by NATO, or at least a NATO nation.
People forget that the Intel community exists to inform national leaders, it is not a public relations department. NATO may know exactly how this was done and by who. But that knowledge was gained in ways that cannot be revealed.

Perhaps the Russians used a secret submarine, that they believe is invisible to NATO. For NATO to reveal the fact that they saw it means the Russians would stop using it, and find some other way to perform their operations, perhaps in a way NATO can't detect. Why should a useful source be lost just to respond to a story from anonymous sources?

Hersh at this point is just a "useful idiot", being used to goad someone somewhere into spilling the beans for their 15 seconds of fame. Easy enough for a few anonymous sources to tell him fantasy stories in the hope that he will use his name recognition to ferret out what NATO knows about the operation.
 
People forget that the Intel community exists to inform national leaders, it is not a public relations department. NATO may know exactly how this was done and by who. But that knowledge was gained in ways that cannot be revealed.

Perhaps the Russians used a secret submarine, that they believe is invisible to NATO. For NATO to reveal the fact that they saw it means the Russians would stop using it, and find some other way to perform their operations, perhaps in a way NATO can't detect. Why should a useful source be lost just to respond to a story from anonymous sources?

Hersh at this point is just a "useful idiot", being used to goad someone somewhere into spilling the beans for their 15 seconds of fame. Easy enough for a few anonymous sources to tell him fantasy stories in the hope that he will use his name recognition to ferret out what NATO knows about the operation.
Certainly possible, or at least as good an opinion as any other at this point.
 
Highly excerpted, I recommend reading the full story:

I did as you suggested. I knew the name Symore Hersh from him breaking the story of the Glomar Explorer, the specialty-built ship designed solely to retrieve the sunken K-129 Soviet submarine clandestinely. It was a true "conspiracy" as many parts of the ship were built in plain sight with Howard Hughes claiming it was his ship designed to search the sea bottom. For a time, the GE was mothballed in a part of the San Fransisco Bay. My dad took me fishing there a few times and I remember driving over the bridge and seeing it.

If there was in fact a contest:

The at-sea event would be held off the coast of Bornholm Island and involve NATO teams of divers planting mines, with competing teams using the latest underwater technology to find and destroy them.
Content from External Source
That does seem to be a bit of a coincident. But coincidences can also create conspiracies.

What I found odd is the number of details about the various discussions that took place concerning the operation. Many of these quotes are from one source but are about multiple different meetings with different groups of people in the US and in Europe.

From a working group in Washington we have this quote that seems to be from the source himself (all quote bold by me):

Everyone involved understood the stakes. “This is not kiddie stuff,” the source said. If the attack were traceable to the United States, “It’s an act of war.”
Content from External Source

But then we have these quotes which appear to be the source retelling what he heard but doesn't say who said it:

Would the divers have to go to Estonia, right across the border from Russia’s natural gas loading docks, to train for the mission? “It would be a goat fuck,” the Agency was told.
Content from External Source
Throughout “all of this scheming,” the source said, “some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, ‘Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.’”

Nevertheless, in early 2022, the CIA working group reported back to Sullivan’s interagency group: “We have a way to blow up the pipelines.”
Content from External Source

The source makes it sound like he was in most of the meetings and was intimately involved:

The source recalled, “Bill Burns comes back and says, ‘Do it.’”
Content from External Source


“What they were told and what they knew were purposely different,”
Content from External Source
the source told me.
Content from External Source
The days were counting down. “The clock was ticking, and we were nearing mission accomplished,” the source said.
Content from External Source
The source also offers some rather literary quotes that feel like they are designed for the narrative flow, like describing NATO head Stolenberg:

“He is the glove that fits the American hand,”
Content from External Source
the source said.
Content from External Source
Or:

“It was like putting an atomic bomb on the ground in Tokyo and telling the Japanese that we are going to detonate it,” the source said.
Content from External Source
“Well,
Content from External Source
” he said, speaking of the President, “I gotta admit the guy has a pair of balls. He said he was going to do it, and he did.”
Content from External Source


“It was a beautiful cover story,”
Content from External Source
he went on. “Behind it was a covert operation that placed experts in the field and equipment that operated on a covert signal."

“The only flaw was the decision to do it.”
Content from External Source

https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/how-america-took-out-the-nord-stream

If there was a game of "Hide and Seek" involving undersea mines that took place near Bornholm island, it would make the perfect cover. However, if this one source is to be trusted, he seems to have known about, and was involved in, ALL the planning and details of exactly how it was pulled off. That would put him in a fairly small group of people with very high security clearance, and yet he ran off and blabbed to a '70s era journalist?

Note also, the source is not like Deep Throat in the Watergate case. He is not hinting at things and suggesting directions for Hersch to look into so that he might uncover the truth. Instead, this source just spells out the entire operation form pre-planning through execution in complete detail. If he's a real person, he might want to think about a new career.
 
However, if this one source is to be trusted, he seems to have known about, and was involved in, ALL the planning and details of exactly how it was pulled off.
Or the source had access to a message archive on the operation. That's all Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning had, for example, or Edward Snowdon.

Remember also that a few of these facts are already public knowledge and have been posted here previously. This is why it's hard to distinguish this narrative from a QAnon-style "connect the dots" fantasy.
 
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Or the source had access to a message archive on the operation. That's all Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning had, for example, or Edward Snowdon.

Remember also that a few of these facts are already public knowledge and have been posted here previously. This is why it's hard to distinguish this narrative from a QAnon-style "connect the dots" fantasy.

I agree the source could be using records of some kind, but that's not how it's worded in the story. As I noted the source is quoted as saying (bold by me):

“The clock was ticking, and we were nearing mission accomplished,"
Content from External Source
He/she is insinuating that he is part of the we and was "nearing mission accomplished". And this quote also makes it sound like the source heard from Burns directly:

The source recalled, “Bill Burns comes back and says, ‘Do it.’”
Content from External Source
I read this as the source was in the room on multiple occasions. The source is involved in the planning.

It could be argued that the source is simply relaying records of some kind and Hersh then novelized what he received for narrative flow. But if that's the case, what else is being changed or added to serve the narrative? As you point out the narrative is definitely interwoven with publicly known events. It does make for a good story.
 
Not in the Baltic, but may be relevant for comparison, the UK Times today (paywalled) reports Dutch intelligence claims to have intercepted Russian attempts to survey energy installations, pipelines, etc, in the North Sea near The Netherlands:

A Russian spy ship that was believed to be part of a sabotage operation targeting underwater cables, gas pipelines and wind farms in the North Sea was intercepted by Dutch vessels.

Intelligence services said they had identified Russian threats to vital infrastructure that is often shared with Britain, including internet cables, offshore wind farms and connectors carrying electricity and gas pipelines.

Erik Akerboom, director of the AIVD, the Dutch equivalent of both MI5 and MI6, said the Russians had been caught mapping installations, and that last autumn a vessel was intercepted near a wind farm. “That failed, the ship was within our territorial waters and was sent away by the coastguard. But it says something about the Russian interest in maritime infrastructure. We are on high alert,” he said.

General Jan Swillens, head of the MIVD, the Dutch army intelligence unit, said the interception had been unprecedented and was made within weeks of attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last September.
“We have seen in recent months how Russian actors tried to uncover how the energy system works in the North Sea. It is the first time we have seen this,” he said, warning of “preparatory acts for disruption and sabotage”.

 
The latest reporting re the pipeline explosion from the NYTimes today:

New intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggests that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, a step toward determining responsibility for an act of sabotage that has confounded investigators on both sides of the Atlantic for months.

The report goes on:

U.S. officials said that they had no evidence President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials. ...

U.S. officials said there was much they did not know about the perpetrators and their affiliations. The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation. U.S. officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains. They have said that there are no firm conclusions about it, leaving open the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services. ...

The explosives were most likely planted with the help of experienced divers who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services, U.S. officials who have reviewed the new intelligence said. But it is possible that the perpetrators received specialized government training in the past.

Officials said there were still enormous gaps in what U.S. spy agencies and their European partners knew about what transpired. ....

U.S. officials who have been briefed on the intelligence are divided about how much weight to put on the new information. All of them spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified intelligence and matters of sensitive diplomacy. ...

The takeaway is that some unspecified new intelligence seems to be indicating a group with pro-Ukraine sympathies was responsible for the attack, but, as far as the unnamed sources to whom the NYTimes spoke with will say, US intelligence agencies don't have enough information to reach a firm conclusion on that. All these months later, the jury on this one is still out and all anyone in the public can do is guess.
 
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The takeaway is that some unspecified new intelligence seems to be indicating a group with pro-Ukraine sympathies was responsible for the attack, [...]
. All these months later, the jury on this one is still out and all anyone in the public can do is guess.
the US is emphatically saying it wasn't the Russians; they may be many things, but not a "pro-Ukrainian group". Given that some of the posters in the early part of the thread seemed convinced it was the Russians, that is a notable result.

now hypothetically, if Biden had put up a secret task force of mercenaries to do that job, it'd be "conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government", so the report's language doesn't even exclude that, though its wording strongly suggests some Ukrainian oligarch had it done—or maybe the Polish mafia, who knows.
 
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The idea that no state actor was involved is stretching credibility, to say the least. How did some "pro-Ukrainian group" with no state support acquire hundreds of kilograms of explosives? Or a team of professional-level divers? The know-how of placing the explosives and detonating them later?
 
The latest reporting re the pipeline explosion from the NYTimes today:



The report goes on:



The takeaway is that some unspecified new intelligence seems to be indicating a group with pro-Ukraine sympathies was responsible for the attack, but, as far as the unnamed sources to whom the NYTimes spoke with will say, US intelligence agencies don't have enough information to reach a firm conclusion on that. All these months later, the jury on this one is still out and all anyone in the public can do is guess.
Short of some group with the resources of a Bond super villain, the thought this attack was undertaken by an independent group "not working for military or intelligence services" seems ludicrous. The amount of logistical, intel and material support, as well as training, required for such an operation would have to come from a nation state.
 
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Article:
Germany says Nord Stream attacks may be 'false flag' to smear Ukraine

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on Wednesday warned against reaching premature conclusions on who was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, suggesting the attack could also have been a "false flag" operation to blame Ukraine.
That quote almost deliberately aims to miss the target, for quoting this bit, and only this bit, makes it sound as if the Minister of defense is saying that it seems to have been a false flag.
What the researching team of journalists, and with them some commentators in politics, are saying is:
1. There is some connection to Ukraine - particularly, the (Polish) company that rented the boat was owned by two Ukrainians
2. There is no known further connection, no evidence pointing, to the people in the background of this operation, inother words: We just know nothing
3. Among the possibilities is: Some branch of the UA government; some private UA group; some/any other conceivable nation/service/group; the latter includes the possibilit of this having been designed as a false flag
4. But again, there is, at this time, zero evidence idicating a false flag.

Whoever is pushing the false flag idea is doing that on the foregone coclusion that certainly no pro-Ukrainian party would do such a thing.

Reality is: We don't yet know.

Among the results of the investigation, as per the journalists and media involved, is that there were six people on the boat who used professionally made fake passports. This raises the possibility with me that, possibly, that Polish company has been founded/registered/acquired by two individuals faking to be Ukrainians.

The Federal State Attorney (Generalstaatsanwalt) of Germany has already confirmed that the boat has been identified in mid-January as having been involved (possibly) in the attack, and that it has been searched by authorities.
The journalists say that yes, traces of explosives have been found on the table in the boat's cabin.
They have pretty detailed information, such as when the boat was loaded and took off from Rostock (Sept 06; the attacks were 20 days later!), other places where it has been located (including much closer to the loactions of the blast). They used multiple anonymous sources (compare Seymour Hersh who apparently had one - and got it all wrong, I dare say), its of their story have been officially confirmed, none afaics have been rebutted by authorities (Ukraine gov says it wasn't them, but no one claims it was them, so no rebuttal here).
 
That quote almost deliberately aims to miss the target, for quoting this bit, and only this bit, makes it sound as if the Minister of defense is saying that it seems to have been a false flag.
What the researching team of journalists, and with them some commentators in politics, are saying is:
1. There is some connection to Ukraine - particularly, the (Polish) company that rented the boat was owned by two Ukrainians
2. There is no known further connection, no evidence pointing, to the people in the background of this operation, inother words: We just know nothing
3. Among the possibilities is: Some branch of the UA government; some private UA group; some/any other conceivable nation/service/group; the latter includes the possibilit of this having been designed as a false flag
4. But again, there is, at this time, zero evidence idicating a false flag.

Whoever is pushing the false flag idea is doing that on the foregone coclusion that certainly no pro-Ukrainian party would do such a thing.

Reality is: We don't yet know.

Among the results of the investigation, as per the journalists and media involved, is that there were six people on the boat who used professionally made fake passports. This raises the possibility with me that, possibly, that Polish company has been founded/registered/acquired by two individuals faking to be Ukrainians.

The Federal State Attorney (Generalstaatsanwalt) of Germany has already confirmed that the boat has been identified in mid-January as having been involved (possibly) in the attack, and that it has been searched by authorities.
The journalists say that yes, traces of explosives have been found on the table in the boat's cabin.
They have pretty detailed information, such as when the boat was loaded and took off from Rostock (Sept 06; the attacks were 20 days later!), other places where it has been located (including much closer to the loactions of the blast). They used multiple anonymous sources (compare Seymour Hersh who apparently had one - and got it all wrong, I dare say), its of their story have been officially confirmed, none afaics have been rebutted by authorities (Ukraine gov says it wasn't them, but no one claims it was them, so no rebuttal here).
Wouldn't the Russians destroying pipelines majority owned by Russia be a false flag?
 
I doubt a non-state actor could be able to set up such a covert operation in a sea as surveilled as the Baltic, and especially during a period of heightened tensions (thence more surveillance). An Ukrainian group seems particularly farfetched given Ukraine has no connections at all with the Baltic sea. A Russian rebel group would be more probable, at least from the geographical point of view, but still difficult to believe.
 
Reality is: We don't yet know.
I upvoted @LilWabbit 's brief clip for this phrase:

"...warned against reaching premature conclusions..."

But it seems to me that that is exactly what we are doing. Sorting information from disinformation in a time of war is a daunting task, and while interesting snippets surface in this thread, the fact that they are frequently contradictory suggests that we as a group may not be well equipped to make that distinction. In summary, "We don't yet know", and indeed we may never know.
 
I upvoted @LilWabbit 's brief clip for this phrase:

"...warned against reaching premature conclusions..."

But it seems to me that that is exactly what we are doing. Sorting information from disinformation in a time of war is a daunting task, and while interesting snippets surface in this thread, the fact that they are frequently contradictory suggests that we as a group may not be well equipped to make that distinction. In summary, "We don't yet know", and indeed we may never know.
"We simply don't know yet" is a super-handy phrase, for almost all occasions.
And clearly is the best choice--at this time--on this one...
 
Sorting information from disinformation in a time of war is a daunting task, and while interesting snippets surface in this thread, the fact that they are frequently contradictory suggests that we as a group may not be well equipped to make that distinction.
I disagree. Sorting information from misinformation in war is difficult when it's either breaking news, or when different actors feed contradicting propaganda to the media.

However, while opinions on the Baltic Pipeline have been contradictory, the credible evidence hasn't been. We've had some fairly circumstantial evidence, e.g. regarding aircraft, that by itself doesn't prove or contradict anything. And we have claims of evidence, by Seymour Hersh whose credibility has suffered enough that I wouldn't believe his anonymous source without corroboration, and now by the US intelligence whom I don't trust completely, but who surely wouldn't exclude Russia from their assessment if they still thought that was a possibility. It's a result that aligns with the question of motive.

Looking for hard evidence behind claims, and weighing it, is what we do, whether it be UFOs, ghosts, or other bunk.
 
Russian official sources deny Ukrainian groups were involved in the baltic pipelines attack. I guess it conflicts with their preferred narrative (that attacks were carried out by NATO/US/Europe) xD. I would give zero evidential value both to what Tass says today and to what NY Times said before.

1678369209605.png
https://tass.com/politics/1586557
 
Russian official sources deny Ukrainian groups were involved in the baltic pipelines attack. I guess it conflicts with their preferred narrative (that attacks were carried out by NATO/US/Europe) xD. I would give zero evidential value both to what Tass says today and to what NY Times said before.

1678369209605.png
https://tass.com/politics/1586557
"As for [the idea that there exists] some sort of pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ who [allegedly] organized this: it’s hard to believe. It was too difficult an operation that could only be carried out by a well-trained state-sponsored special service. There are not that many of them in the world," he (Peskov) said.
Content from External Source
https://tass.com/politics/1586557

May not have any "evidential value," but the Kremlin is espousing the same position both you and I posted here yesterday.
 
Sorry for a late showing, but I read Hersh's claims with some interest and just wanted to point out a few things which, I would have thought such a seasoned journalist probably should have double checked prior to publication.

Claim:
The US used C4 explosive and Hersh mentions 'C4' seven times, and suggests they were used to fabricate shaped charges with a concrete housing.

My rebuttal:
1. C4 is a plastic explosive with 9% of its composition being plasticisers, binders and storage preservatives, and as such is unsuitable for demolitions at depth due to exudation of the material causing separation and micro air pockets being effected by Boyle's Law.
2. C4 contains a chemical tag which can trace it back to place of manufacture and batch number.
3. Undersea explosives are almost exclusively in a cast form such as Torpex, Amatol or RBX polymer that are solid when formed, negating any need for a concrete housing.
4. A shaped charge would almost always need a metal liner for the cutting elements, which again is an unnecessary piece of traceable evidence to examine and assign to a potential perpetrator.
5. Soviet, Iranian, Chinese, North Korean sea mines or undersea explosives are all in the possession of both the UK and US and (my assertion) is that if the US were to commit a deniable act of sabotage to an allied country's infrastructure, I imagine they would use devices that would steer the evidence away from them.

Claim:
The US Air Force wanted to use an air dropped weapon to attack the pipeline: "The Air Force discussed dropping bombs with delayed fuses that could be set off remotely."
My rebuttal:
1. I am unaware of any bombing fuze that is designed to be remotely detonated at a later date by a third party.
2. I am unaware of any easy way to remotely detonate any air dropped weapon fuze through 260' of water.
3. I am unaware of any air dropped weapon that has both the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic characteristics to be dropped accurately onto a static target underneath 260' of water. I suppose an aerial torpedo could theoretically be used, but these detonate on contact with the target as opposed to sitting awaiting a command to detonate.

Claim:
The charge was detonated by a sonar buoy dropped from an aircraft.

My rebuttal:
1. Sonar signals would be like RF hazards in dry land demolitions and AFAIK the Baltic Sea is full of uncontrolled sonar emissions which would be a risk to the remote-detonation assertion. I have to admit I am no expert on sonar.

Claim:
Mixed Air diver's were used to place the explosives on the pipeline.

My rebuttal:
1. Mixed air diving requires a lot of infrastructure to support, including diving bells, decompression chambers and casevac capabilities.
2. It seems unnecessarily James Bond-esqe when an unmanned underwater remote vehicle could attach the charge to the pipeline with much reduced risk to personnel and reduced infrastructure requirements.

Claim:
The US divers operated from Alta class Norwegian Mine Sweepers.

My rebuttal:
1. The Alta, Orkla and Glomma were all scrapped or destroyed prior to the attack, leaving only the Otra and Rauma in service and they have been accounted for during the time they were supposedly dropping US divers into the Baltic Sea.

Claim:
Jens Stoltenberg, a Norwegian, secretly colluded with the US since the Vietnam War.
"Today, the secretary general of NATO is Jens Stoltenberg, a committed anti-communist, who served as Norway’s prime minister for eight years before moving to his high NATO post, with American backing, in 2014. He was a hardliner on all things Putin and Russia who had cooperated with the American intelligence community since the Vietnam War. He has been trusted completely since. “He is the glove that fits the American hand,” the source said."
My rebuttal:
1. Stoltenberg was 16 years old when the Vietnam War ended and was still a student at the Oslo Catholic School, after which he performed his National Service in the Infantry prior to getting a degree in economics in economics from the University of Oslo in 1987. He also appeared to be very anti-US policy in Vietnam in his youth, which seems at odds with being some kind of youthful intelligence asset of the US.

Wikipedia: "Stoltenberg's first steps into politics came in his early teens, when he was influenced by his sister Camilla, who at the time was a member of the then Marxist–Leninist group Red Youth. Opposition to the Vietnam War was his triggering motivation. Following heavy bombing raids against the North Vietnamese port city of Hai Phong at the end of the Vietnam War, he participated in protest rallies targeting the United States Embassy in Oslo. On at least one occasion embassy windows were broken by stone-throwing protesters."

It would take some deep game theory to believe that Stoltenberg was a US intelligence asset in his youth from Catholic School and college to enhance his deep cover by attacking the US Embassy in Normay.

Claim:
This was a joint US-Norwegian act of sabotage against Germany, a NATO ally and trade partner with both the US and Norway:

My rebuttal:
This is my opinion, but all covert military operations are considered with what the effects of it going wrong are, and the idea that the US and the notoriously-compliant-to-international-law Norwegians would act against Germany, to me, is absurd. The risks do not in anyway balance with any possible reward. The US relies on German intelligence as well as most European countries to have a trusting relationship with, and blowing up a pipeline is just not enough of a prospect to risk that.

In short, Hersh's article is nonsense, and the entirety of the evidence he presents is summarised as 'some guy told me' hearsay.
 
@BombDr
The bit about Norwegian involvement in an act of war stuck out to me as well. Short of the Swiss, I can't think of another nation less likely to be part of something like this than the Norwegians.
 
@BombDr
The bit about Norwegian involvement in an act of war stuck out to me as well. Short of the Swiss, I can't think of another nation less likely to be part of something like this than the Norwegians.
An anecdote underscoring this:

As a German conscript and airman, I was assigned to the NATO E-3A compound (AWACS) in Germany, serving as a pusher of files in one of the three flying squadrons. The squadrons get regularly deployed, typically for 2 weeks on end, to training missions in various other European air bases: In Sicily, Greece, Norway, - and Konya in Turkey.
One of our Mission Commanders (that is the head of the mission crew in the belly of the AWACS plane; the pilot is commander of the plane as such, but the MC is commander of its military mission) was a Norwegian Major. Of him, this story was told me by other mission crew members:

While on deployment in Konya and cruising over Anatolia with radar on, it was known but never publicly acknowledged that the Turkish military would take advantage of the data stream from our AWACS to help coordinate their aerial attacks against the Kurds. This Norwegian Major would, as soon as the cruise areas was reached, order the radar dome (or some other component) to be considered damaged and taken offline, yet keep the plane circling for its standard 8-hours shift - to deny the Turks that data!
He could have gotten into big trouble, but secretely, everybody admired what he did, and so, as the Turkish abuse of the data was not talked about, his abuse of commanding power wasn't talked about officially.

In general, I can attest that the Norwegians' attitude towards military matters was cool.
 
The Danish patrol boat P524 Nymfen took 112 photos of russian ships, not just those 26 of the SS-750.

But this activity didn't occur on its own, there is context. (pictures omitted)
Article:
September 22nd 2022

On September 21st 2022 a large number of events were happening simultaneously in the Baltic. Firstly the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS San Antonio (LPD-17) San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship left the Baltic Sea.

Secondly a Russian naval exercise taking place in the Baltic began on the 21st September involving a significant portion of the Russian Baltic Fleet.

At the same time as this Poland and several other countries launched the naval exercise Rekin-22, also in the southern Baltic. Several vessels from this exercise are caught on Sentinel 2 imagery just off the coast of Poland heading east at 10:05 UTC on September 22nd.

The following map shows the approximate radar target visibility range due to the horizon for the Danish Scanter 4000 located on Bornholm and the estimated location of the nearest Swedish coastal radar system. The red and yellow circles are dependent on the height of the target. As can be seen, depending on the circumstances, the Northern Nord Stream sabotage sites are just outside the Danish radar’s detection range. I don’t expect this to be a coincidence. Again though the Southern Nord Stream 2 rupture site shows just how out of place it is compared to the other three locations.

At 19:50 UTC on September 21st, the Royal Danish Navy Diana-class Patrol Vessel P524 Nymfen left Rødbyhavn and headed directly towards the Nord Stream 1 sabotage location. The P524 Nymfen was the closest Royal Danish Navy vessel, after the P523 Najaden left Bornholm on March 17th. The P524 Nymfen heading straight for the Nord Stream 1 sabotage location overnight is highly unusual, as this would be only the second time in many years that a Royal Danish Navy vessel has taken an interest in the area. The Minerva Julie spending a week drifting over the area caused no response by the Royal Danish Navy.

The P524 Nymfen arrived in the area at around 06:15 UTC on September 22nd. Here the P524 lingered for approximately 30 minutes before moving closer to the area. It then turned back before deactivating its AIS at 07:44 UTC. The AIS would remain off until 14:37 UTC when the P524 would be on its way back to Bornholm.

I suspect that the Royal Danish Navy could have been alerted either by the radar station on Bornholm or another external factor of suspicious activity just prior to the P524 leaving Rødbyhavn. The Nord Stream 1 sabotage site is only a few nautical miles from a very active shipping lane, so it would require something quite abnormal to elicit this response. Whatever it was was also well timed if one wanted to avoid detection, as the P524 would not arrive near the site for more than 10 hours due to the required travel time.

At 07:12 UTC on September 22nd, a Swedish Air Force S 100B Argus airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft would take off from Malmen Airbase and fly a highly unusual route over the Baltic Sea. While Swedish AEW&C flights over the Baltic Sea are very routine, often taking off at the same time in the morning, this particular flight path is not routine. At 08:36 UTC the aircraft would reach the position indicated on the track below before flying to Ronneby Airport for a 30 minutes, likely to refuel.

In conclusion, it appears highly probable that there were two instances in 2022 prior to the Nord Stream sabotage where Russian vessels came in close proximity to the site of the sabotage before being chased from the area by Danish and Swedish naval vessels.

Article:
The following map shows the approximate radar target visibility range due to the horizon for the Danish Scanter 4000 located on Bornholm and the nearest Swedish coastal radar system. It also includes the US Navy vessels. The red and yellow circles are dependent on the height of the target.

There are obviously several ways to interpret the information:

a) the minute the US forces leave, the Russians rush forth to mine the pipeline

b) as the US forces leave, the Russians send ships to investigate what the Americans may have left behind. (Remember, BALTOPS had diving components.)

If you're a conspiracy theorist, option c) is the Danish and Swedish militaries being aware of the American having mined the site, and they're busy protecting this against Russian discovery: if the Russians send something down and bring back photos of a mined pipeline, this will look very bad for the NATO forces.
 

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Article:
Three months before saboteurs bombed the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, the Biden administration learned from a close ally that the Ukrainian military had planned a covert attack on the undersea network, using a small team of divers who reported directly to the commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Details about the plan, which have not been previously reported, were collected by a European intelligence service and shared with the CIA in June 2022. They provide some of the most specific evidence to date linking the government of Ukraine to the eventual attack in the Baltic Sea, which U.S. and Western officials have called a brazen and dangerous act of sabotage on Europe’s energy infrastructure.

The European intelligence report was shared on the chat platform Discord, allegedly by Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira. The Washington Post obtained a copy from one of Teixeira’s online friends.

The intelligence report was based on information obtained from an individual in Ukraine. The source’s information could not immediately be corroborated, but the CIA shared the report with Germany and other European countries last June, according to multiple officials familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence operations and diplomatic discussions.


The highly specific details, which include numbers of operatives and methods of attack, show that for nearly a year, Western allies have had a basis to suspect Kyiv in the sabotage. That assessment has only strengthened in recent months as German law enforcement investigators uncovered evidence about the bombing that bears striking similarities to what the European service said Ukraine was planning.

Officials in multiple countries confirmed that the intelligence summary posted on Discord accurately stated what the European service told the CIA. The Post agreed to withhold the name of the European country as well as some aspects of the suspected plan at the request of government officials, who said exposing the information would threaten sources and operations.

The European intelligence made clear that the would-be attackers were not rogue operatives. All those involved reported directly to Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer, who was put in charge so that the nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, wouldn’t know about the operation, the intelligence report said.

The intelligence summary says that the Ukrainian military operation was “put on hold,” for reasons that remain unclear. The Ukrainians had planned to attack the pipeline on the heels of a major allied naval exercise, known as BALTOPS, that ran from June 5 to 17, 2022, according to the report.

But according to German law enforcement officials investigating September’s Nord Stream bombing, key details emerging of that operation line up with the earlier plot.

For instance, the Ukrainian individual who informed the European intelligence service in June said that six members of Ukraine’s special operations forces using false identities intended to rent a boat and, using a submersible vehicle, dive to the floor of the Baltic Sea and then damage or destroy the pipeline and escape undetected. In addition to oxygen, the team planned to bring helium, which is recommended for especially deep dives.

German investigators now believe that six individuals using fake passports rented a sailing yacht in September, embarked from Germany and planted explosives that severed the pipelines, according to officials familiar with that investigation. They believe the operatives were skilled divers, given that the explosives were planted at a depth of about 240 feet, in the range that experts say helium would be helpful for maintaining mental focus.

Investigators have matched explosive residue found on the pipeline to traces found inside the cabin of the yacht, called Andromeda. And they have linked Ukrainian individuals to the rental of the boat via an apparent front company in Poland. Investigators also suspect that at least one individual who serves in the Ukrainian military was involved in the sabotage operation.

The June plot differs from the September attack in some respects. The European intelligence report notes that the Ukrainian operatives planned to attack the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but it makes no mention of Nord Stream 2, a newer line. The intelligence report also says that the saboteurs would embark from a different location in Europe, not Warnemünde, a German port town on the Baltic, where the Andromeda was rented.

(excerpted)
 
Article excerpt:

Nord Stream Sabotage Probe Turns to Clues Inside Poland​


German investigators are examining evidence that suggests a sabotage team used Poland, a European Union neighbor and NATO ally, as an operating base to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines built to transport Russian gas through the Baltic Sea.

German investigators have fully reconstructed the entire two-week long voyage of the Andromeda—the 50-foot white pleasure yacht suspected of being involved in one of the biggest acts of sabotage on the continent since World War II—and pinpointed that it deviated from its target to venture into Polish waters.

The previously unreported findings were pieced together with data from the Andromeda’s radio and navigation equipment, as well as satellite and mobile phones and Gmail accounts used by the culprits—and DNA samples left aboard, which Germany has tried to match to at least one Ukrainian soldier.

German investigators say they are also looking into why the yacht was rented with the help of a travel agency based in Warsaw that appears to be part of a network of Ukrainian-owned front companies with suspected links to Ukrainian intelligence, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Content from External Source
Source: https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/nord-stream-sabotage-probe-turns-to-clues-inside-poland-4ed20422
 
German investigators have fully reconstructed the entire two-week long voyage of the Andromeda—the 50-foot white pleasure yacht suspected of being involved in one of the biggest acts of sabotage on the continent since World War II—and pinpointed that it deviated from its target to venture into Polish waters.

Despite widely covered by mainstream news networks the world over, the key (whilst not the only) problem with the Andromeda lead of investigations (linking the responsiblity for the Nord Stream sabotage to Ukraine) is the yacht Andromeda itself as an unlikely vessel for successfully carrying out the operation.

Article:
The yacht, named Andromeda, is said have left Rostock on 6 September, briefly mooring at the port of Wiek and at the Danish island Christiansø, which is located 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres) from the explosion site.[118][120] The Danish and the Norwegian engineering newspapers Ingeniøren and Teknisk Ukeblad reported that Bellingcat has determined the sailboat to be a Bavaria Cruiser 50, a 50.6 ft (15.4 m) sailing yacht from Bavaria Yachtbau. They further cited a named lieutenant commander of the Danish navy and analyst at the Royal Danish Defence College for several reasons why it is not credible that such a small vessel was used for the sabotage. The force of the explosion and the widely dispersed debris implies that several hundreds of kilograms of explosives were used, an amount that is impractical to transport with such a small sailboat. Secondly, it is surprising that traces of explosives were found on the yacht, since in this case clearly no homemade explosive device was used. Thirdly, accurately placing the explosives on the bottom above the pipeline at 60–80 meters depth from a small surface vessel is practically impossible. The skepticism was shared by a named former chief analyst of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service now senior analyst in the Danish think tank Europa. The naval officer instead speculated that a submarine was used to place the explosives and pointed out that a sonar-equipped submarine can, with relative ease accurately place a naval bottom mine with 500 kg of explosives.[87][88] As of April 2023 the yacht is being kept in a German dry dock for investigation.[120]


The alternative investigative lead of a Russian false flag operation to frame Ukraine continues to be seriously pursued especially in the Nordic investigations. However, if true, Russia's been unusually elaborate and skilled in either employing Russian sympathizers in Ukraine and possibly within Ukrainian intelligence services to frame Ukraine as the saboteur, or in paying others linked to Ukraine to do so. Russia would have had to both employ such operatives within Ukraine (1) to leak to others plans to sabotage Nord Stream ahead of operation, and (2) to frame it on Ukrainian intelligence using the yacht Andromeda, explosives residue and front companies of Ukrainian intelligence in places such as Poland.

Is Russia capable, and willing, enough, to have carried out such an elaborate false flag operation? Part of me says, no. Another part wouldn't be surprised.

The recent The Washington Post article on CIA knowing months before about a potential Ukrainian plan to sabotage Nord Stream referred to unnamed European intelligence officials from an undisclosed allied country who produced an intelligence report “based on information obtained from an [unnamed] individual in Ukraine.” Later in the article, the authors throw some shade on the individual: “The CIA initially questioned the credibility of the information, in part because the source in Ukraine who provided the details had not yet established a track record of producing reliable information, according to officials familiar with the matter.”

And yet despite the entire story being sourced on one sketchy anonymous individual in Ukraine, the WP, and other networks, went on with the story. I guess, commercially, it was the smartest course of action.

In any case, there are two main, but mutually partially conflicting, leads in the Nord Stream investigations: The German lead pointing to Ukraine and the Nordic lead pointing to Russia, both sides being skeptical of one another. And yet both or neither, could be true. There could even be some strange combination of both warring parties being involved in different ways at different times; say, Ukraine in fact having explored NS sabotage plans along with oher scenarios of sabotage of other srategic interests of Russia in Europe, without going any further with any of these scenarios (such scenario planning is completely routine in militiaries), whilst Russia in fact carrying out the sabotage to advance its own agenda whilst having been privy to the Ukrainian scenario plans.

Article:
On 18 April 2023 Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information cited a statement from the Danish Defence Command obtained via a freedom of information law request. According to this statement a Danish navy vessel took 112 military intelligence relevant photos of Russian vessels in the relevant area on September 2022, four days before the explosions.[91] On 27 April 2023 the Defence Command was again cited for a statement obtained by Information that confirmed T-Online's March 25 report that the SS-750 Crane Ship was among six Russian navy ships operating in the area.[92][93][94]

On 3 May 2023 an investigation by the Nordic public broadcasters DR, NRK, SVT, and Yle described "highly unusual" movements by ships thought to include Russian ships such as the tugboat SB-123, naval research vessel Sibiryakov, and another unspecified ship from the naval fleet. These ships had their transmitters turned off, and were reported to be in the area of the explosions between June up until 22 September, 2022.[95]
 
They further cited a named lieutenant commander of the Danish navy and analyst at the Royal Danish Defence College for several reasons why it is not credible that such a small vessel was used for the sabotage. The force of the explosion and the widely dispersed debris implies that several hundreds of kilograms of explosives were used, an amount that is impractical to transport with such a small sailboat.
They make it sound like a dingy. I used to have a smaller yacht ~9m. I could transport several hundred kilos of something eg cement sacks if I wanted to onboard. The only problem is getting it below through the entrance hatch


The inside of a Bavaria Cruiser 50
 
They make it sound like a dingy. I used to have a smaller yacht ~9m. I could transport several hundred kilos of something eg cement sacks if I wanted to onboard. The only problem is getting it below through the entrance hatch


The inside of a Bavaria Cruiser 50

I think the word they used was "impractical" for carrying 500 kg worth of explosives. But the reason a yacht is unlikely included other variables as well.

"The force of the explosion and the widely dispersed debris implies that several hundreds of kilograms of explosives were used, an amount that is impractical to transport with such a small sailboat. Secondly, it is surprising that traces of explosives were found on the yacht, since in this case clearly no homemade explosive device was used. Thirdly, accurately placing the explosives on the bottom above the pipeline at 60–80 meters depth from a small surface vessel is practically impossible. The skepticism was shared by a named former chief analyst of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service now senior analyst in the Danish think tank Europa. The naval officer instead speculated that a submarine was used to place the explosives and pointed out that a sonar-equipped submarine can, with relative ease accurately place a naval bottom mine with 500 kg of explosives.[87][88] As of April 2023 the yacht is being kept in a German dry dock for investigation.[120]"

Also, a military-grade charge, necessary for the operation, doesn't leave any explosives residue onboard like an IED may do. 'Evidence-planting' for framing Ukraine is a viable hypothesis, whilst far from proven.
 
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Whilst I also think it most likely was a submarine.
But if I was writing a james bond film and had to do it from the Bavaria Cruiser 50 yacht I would

  • divide the explosive up into bags of 10-20kg each.
  • sail to above the pipeline with the yacht, get a diver with a cable to go down to the sea floor
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_diving <-60-80m is not impossible or even challenging, though it does require expertise
  • the diver attachs the cable to the pipe or an anchor nearby
  • start sending down the bags attached to the cable
  • the Diver/s at the bottom detach them and then 'accurately place the explosives' on the pipeline
It wouldn't even take that long.
OK the above is just me scripting a film scene but I don't see how the above scenario is 'practically impossible'
 
Interesting news. Translated excerpt:


US warned Ukraine not to sabotage Nord Stream, after MIVD alert​


The US intelligence agency CIA warned Ukraine not to blow up the pipeline in June last year, three months before the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
The Americans did this after they received an alarming message from the Dutch military intelligence service MIVD, which heard about Ukrainian plans for an imminent attack through a source in Ukraine. This is evident from research by the NOS, Nieuwsuur and the German media Die Zeit and ARD.
The sabotage was canceled in June, but in September the pipeline was still blown up according to almost the same scenario that the MIVD had exposed three months earlier.
Content from External Source
Source (retrieved 13th of June 2023) : https://nos.nl/artikel/2478770-vs-w...rd-stream-niet-te-saboteren-na-alarm-van-mivd
 
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