According to reports, Russian vessels were detected using
intercepted communications from the Russian Navy. The Nord Stream pipelines,
which transport gas from Russia to Europe, were disabled by underwater
explosions in September. The cause of the blasts is not known, and initial
accusations from the West were countered by claims from Moscow that Western
countries, including the UK, were responsible.
Intelligence now suggests that pro-Ukrainian operatives were
involved, although not the Ukrainian government itself. Investigations are
still ongoing, but a TV documentary series by broadcasters in Denmark, Norway,
Sweden, and Finland offers one potential lead toward Russia’s involvement. The
latest episode of the series focuses on suspicious ship movements in the run-up
to the Nord Stream blasts.
It is thought that among the vessels present is the
Sibiryakov, a naval research ship hailing from Russia, as well as the SB-123
tugboat, and a third ship whose identity remains unknown. These ships were
ghostly as their transmitters were switched off. However, using intercepted
radio communications, the broadcasters were able to track their movements between
June and September 2022.
A former British naval intelligence officer, who remains
anonymous, conducted the research using open-source information and radio
communications. For a prolonged time ranging from a few hours to almost a
complete day, these vessels were situated near the location of the blast.
The Sibiryakov ship is reputedly able to perform subaquatic
reconnaissance and cartography tasks and also possesses the ability to launch a
minor submergible device.
According to the ex-navy intelligence officer, the ship
altered its usual route in June, specifically in the vicinity where the
pipeline would later explode, and also modified its method of communication by
using a covert receiver.
Another vessel was moreover displayed in that range the past
week in June. And a third vessel, the naval tugboat SB-123, arrived just five
days before the September explosions.
The documentary does not offer conclusive proof of what the
vessels were doing or whether Russia was involved. Nevertheless, it raises
questions about the unusual nature of the activity. Russia rejected any
responsibility for the explosions.
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