U.S. officials say new intelligence information suggests a pro-Ukrainian group was behind the sabotage attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, according to The New York Times.
The officials told the Times there’s no indication that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation or that any of those responsible acted at the direction of the Ukrainian government. Mystery has swirled between Washington, London, Kyiv to Moscow on who might have been responsible for explosions along the pipelines designed to carry Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
The multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects have long been condemned by the West as national security threats in allowing Moscow to sell gas more easily to Europe.
According to the Times, a review of the newly collected intelligence indicated the perpetrators were likely opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin, “but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation.”
U.S. officials who reviewed the intelligence “have said that there are no firm conclusions” about the attack, “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 Times reports.
Tuesday’s development comes after the White House last month dismissed a blog post from U.S. investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claiming President Biden had directed the attack.
The White House National Security Council, CIA and State Department also asserted the post was “utterly false and complete fiction,” according to Reuters.