- Sputnik International, 1920
Nord Stream Sabotage
The Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which delivered energy to Germany from Russia, were hit by explosions in September 2022. In February, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleged that the explosions were organized by the US with the support of Norway.

US Hatched Plan to Threaten Russia With Nord Stream Sabotage in Late 2021, Sy Hersh Says

© AFP 2023 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIUS President Joe Biden (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz depart following a press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 7, 2022.
US President Joe Biden (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz depart following a press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 7, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.04.2023
President Biden publicly warned Moscow in early February of 2022 that the US would bring “an end” to the Nord Stream network if Russia began a military operation in Ukraine. Washington made good on that promise last September, with veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh providing the details in a bombshell Substack piece this past February.
The Biden administration hatched plans to threaten Moscow with the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines about two months before the escalation of the Donbass crisis into a full-blown conflagration between Russia and Ukraine, Seymour Hersh has said.
“The demand was issued just before New Year’s Eve 2021, probably around Christmas,” Hersh said in an interview with independent German media published Monday. “The idea was to find something out of the ordinary that the president could use, a lure or a threat to convince Putin not to attack.”
“Above all, it was a threat. I don’t think this administration is very good at persuasion. They operate more along the lines of ‘you are either with us or against us.’ The idea was to tell Putin: if you cross the border into Ukraine, we will blow up the pipelines,” Hersh added.
The veteran investigative journalist also pointed to another interesting detail about the weeks leading up to the conflict in Ukraine, saying he found it interesting that “hardly anyone pays attention” to the fact that the forces Russia had at its disposal in February 2022 numbered about 120,000 men, far fewer than required to defeat a country the size of Ukraine.
“So if people are still saying that Putin wanted to ‘take’ Kiev, you have to tell them: that’s just not the case. That would not have been possible at all. There were at least 60,000 troops in Kiev [in the spring of 2022, ed.]. And because Putin didn’t take the city, people like to say he failed. But I just can’t imagine how he could have done it with so few troops. It’s also worth remembering that the US and NATO greatly increased the numbers and upgraded the capabilities of the Ukrainian army in recent years, making this army at least formidable,” Hersh said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Ankara. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.04.2023
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The journalist suggested that whatever motivated Russia’s actions in the early days of the conflict, “one thing is clear: [Putin] did not use extreme force.” Hersh believes that what Moscow wants in Ukraine isn’t “physical control” or annexation, but its demilitarization and a measure of “political control over an area, particularly as far as foreign policy is concerned.” The “problem” driving the crisis, in Hersh’s estimation, is that Kiev has rejected demilitarization.
Furthermore, he said, even if Moscow and Kiev were willing to negotiate a compromise, “in the end it won’t matter because we [the US, ed.] don’t want it that way. The US has promised new money, including for fighter jets. We could train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 – which, by the way, is an old plane that the Russians could shoot down relatively easily. But don’t tell that to the newspaper people. What the US and NATO are doing right now lies somewhere between ‘stupid’ and ‘crazy.’”
Whatever comes next with the Nord Stream investigations, Hersh is confident that the Biden administration will “never admit” its responsibility, and that the legacy media in the US would be “perfectly happy” with such a state of affairs. The journalist fears the conflict in Ukraine could drag on for years, although “if Putin deploys his troops more decisively, things might go faster.” The US, he said, has already spent nearly $120 billion on the conflict to date, and will need to spend a lot more – something that might prove difficult as public opinion gradually turns against US policy.
Hersh also reiterated that the Nord Stream attack was just as much an attack on Europe as it was on Russia, pointing out that when the attack took place in September, “winter was just around the corner,” and Germany had proven only “partially successful” in filling up its underground reserves. Unusually mild weather and deliveries of explosively-priced liquefied natural gas helped, but led to a state of permanently high energy prices.
German National flag. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.04.2023
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“What happens next? If it gets colder again in the fall and gas prices don’t come down, there will be more resentment against the man who started this crisis, Joe Biden. I don’t know what your chancellor is doing or what he’s done. I don’t know if he knew in advance or not. But by blowing up the pipelines, Biden was telling the Europeans: I don’t have your support, I’m afraid you might falter if it comes to a stalemate with Russia. It was his way of saying: I need more money from the NATO partners, maybe even troops, especially from Germany,” Hersh said. This could prove important for Biden in the long term, the journalist believes, given the threat of a US economic downturn, inflation, high interest rates and bank failures.
Hersh compared the decision to strike Nord Stream to the Bush administration’s decision to respond to 9/11 by invading Iraq, saying there’s a “word for” such policy: stupidity. “Biden certainly has a chance of being included in the list of dumbest post-war US presidents – blowing up an ally’s gas supply, leaving the German chancellor with problems keeping his citizens warm and Germany prosperous is unwise. I don’t know what will happen to Scholz. I really don’t know. I’m speaking to people from the Bundestag, but nothing seems to be happening there. Where is the German report [on Nord Stream, ed.]? When will it be published? In 3,000 years?”
The journalist pointed out that during the German chancellor’s famous visit to Washington in February 2022, about two weeks before Russia kicked off its special operation, where Biden warned openly that if Russian troops crossed into Ukraine, “there will be no longer a Nord Stream – we will bring an end to it,” the German chancellor remained silent instead of challenging the US president.
“It would have been nice if Scholz had said: I support the president in everything he said, but blowing up the pipelines would be unacceptable. But he didn’t say anything. His biggest problem is that he has become a collaborator since my first Nord Stream story. He denied nothing, protested nothing, investigated nothing,” Hersh said.
Hersh’s bombshell reporting on the Nord Stream attack now serves as the basis of Russia's calls for an independent, international investigation into the act of terror. After ignoring his reporting and then trying to smear the Pulitzer Prize winner as a “discredited journalist,” legacy media have come up with alternative explanations about who was responsible, citing a mysterious “pro-Ukrainian group” with no links to any government and a rented yacht purportedly used to carry out the attack. Media tweaked the “yacht” story last week to say that it may have been “only a decoy” in a much larger operation after a backlash about the original story’s unbelievable claims.
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Nord Stream Sabotage
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