European intelligence service informs CIA of Ukrainian military’s planned attack, according to Washington Post report
According to the Washington Post, the Biden administration received intelligence indicating that Ukraine had devised a strategy to target the Nord Stream pipelines, a natural gas connection between Russia and Germany, three months prior to an underwater blast that disabled the link.
The CIA was notified by a European intelligence service, which revealed that the Ukrainian military intended to carry out the attack using a specialized team of divers reporting directly to the Ukrainian armed forces’ commander in chief, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi. The objective was to ensure that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy remained unaware of the operation.
The Washington Post’s report was based on a leak of confidential documents shared by a member of the US armed services on Discord, Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira. The leaked information originated from a European intelligence agency and was subsequently shared with the US and Germany. Security officials from multiple countries corroborated the reports.
The responsibility for the attacks, which occurred in September on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea, remains disputed. While many European governments suspect Russia, Vladimir Putin has accused the US and its allies. Ukraine vehemently denies any involvement in the attacks.
If accurate, this intelligence would provide insights into one of the most mysterious incidents in Russia’s 15-month-long war in Ukraine, where Ukrainians have been fighting against one of the world’s largest standing armies to ensure their survival.
Although the US and other foreign allies have supported Ukraine with weapons and assistance, they have emphasized that such aid should be used solely to liberate Ukrainian territory and cautioned against targeting civilian infrastructure.
It is worth noting that the US publicly opposed the Nord Stream 2 project, pressuring Germany to delay its final authorization shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The intelligence report shared with the CIA was drafted in June 2022 and outlined a plot similar to the one currently under investigation by German authorities. It involved six individuals using false identities, sailing a small boat into the Baltic Sea, and utilizing diving equipment, including helium supplies for deep dives, to plant explosives that severed the pipeline.
However, there are some discrepancies between the intelligence report and the versions of the attack being considered by German authorities. The information in the report was attributed to an unidentified individual from Ukraine.
Analysis of the News:
The news article highlights a significant development regarding the Nord Stream pipeline attack, involving multiple countries and intelligence agencies. Here are some key points to consider:
- Early Intelligence and Ukrainian Plot: The report reveals that the CIA obtained intelligence in June 2022, indicating a Ukrainian plan to sabotage the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea. The alleged plan involved a six-person team of Ukrainian special forces renting a boat, diving to the seafloor, and detonating explosives to disrupt the project.
- Disputed Attribution: The responsibility for the pipeline attack remains a subject of dispute. Moscow blames the West, while Ukraine firmly denies any involvement. This highlights the geopolitical tensions and complexity surrounding the incident.
- Leaked Intelligence Summary: The article mentions that the information about the pipeline attack was part of a leaked intelligence summary. Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira allegedly shared classified documents, including this intelligence report, on the Discord platform. Teixeira was subsequently arrested in April and charged under the Espionage Act for transmitting national security-related information.
- Washington Post Report: The Washington Post obtained and reported on the intelligence summary, shedding light on the alleged Ukrainian plot. This indicates the significance of investigative journalism and the role of media outlets in uncovering and reporting on sensitive matters.
- Geopolitical Implications: The Nord Stream pipeline is a major energy project connecting Russia and Germany. The alleged plot and subsequent attack on the pipeline have broader geopolitical implications, as it affects energy security, relations between Russia and the West, and regional dynamics in Eastern Europe.
- Unclear Motives and Consequences: The article does not explicitly delve into the motives behind the alleged Ukrainian plot or the potential consequences of the pipeline attack. However, it emphasizes the ongoing investigation and the need to verify and corroborate the information presented in the intelligence summary.
Overall, this news highlights the complexity of international relations, intelligence sharing, and the delicate balance of power in the context of energy infrastructure. It underscores the importance of transparency, responsible information sharing, and the role of media in bringing such incidents to public attention.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN