In the months since a significant portion of the Nord Stream gas pipelines were sabotaged, cutting off a crucial source of energy from Russia to Germany, governments around the world have attempted to determine the responsible party.
Most experts believe a state actor must have been involved in the massive explosion, but no conclusive evidence has yet been presented that points to any specific government.
About a month ago, journalist Seymour Hersh cited multiple sources who claimed that the United States was behind the attack, though U.S. officials have denied any involvement in the incident.
White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson called the report “utterly false and complete fiction,” a sentiment that was echoed by sources within the U.S. Department of State and CIA.
More recently, a report in The New York Times suggested that forces connected to a “pro-Ukrainian group” were responsible for the sabotage.
For his part, Hersh initially declined a request to weigh in on the reliability of the Times report or whether he believes it was published in response to the bombshell allegations he published last month.
“I don’t want to get into it,” he said. “You should decide for yourself. It’s up to you.”
In a subsequent interview, however, he went into greater detail about his reaction to the report.
The newspaper based its reporting on anonymous sources within the U.S. government as well as a German account that two Ukrainian businessmen owned the ship allegedly responsible for the attack.
On the record, however, Ukrainian officials have denied responsibility and the nation’s allies around the world have dismissed claims of its involvement. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, chalked the Times report up to a collection of “conspiracy theories” regarding the Nord Stream attack.
After a report said a pro-Ukrainian group may be behind the Nord Stream pipeline blasts, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the attack could also have been a ‘false flag’ operation to blame Ukraine https://t.co/On0ZOdsIZD pic.twitter.com/KxWXg0Vd47
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 8, 2023
Even the Russian government has spoken out against efforts to blame Ukraine. One such official, Dmitry Peskov, asserted that any sources willing to assign responsibility before an investigation had been completed should be taken with a grain of salt.
“The very least that the Nord Stream shareholder countries and the United Nations must demand is an urgent, transparent investigation with the participation of everyone who can shed light,” Peskov added. “We are still not allowed in the investigation. This is not just strange. It smells like a monstrous crime.”