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Unravelling the Mystery of the Nord Stream Blasts: Probing the Role of Russian Vessels and Suspicious Ship Movements

  • Posted on May 3, 2023
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Unravelling the Mystery of the Nord Stream Blasts: Probing the Role of Russian Vessels and Suspicious Ship Movements

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.

 

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
The gas leak at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as it is seen from the Danish Defence's F-16 rejection response off the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, south of Dueodde. (Image Credit: AFP/DANISH DEFENCE)


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.

 

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
Three of the four pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Germany were damaged last year by explosions (Image Credit: SWEDISH COAST GUARD/AP)


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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