It allegedly belongs to a company owned by Ukrainians, German media outlets claim
German authorities probing explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines have identified a vessel that appears to have been involved in what is widely regarded as an act of sabotage, a host of German media outlets revealed on Tuesday. The yacht, which was reportedly used in the attack on the pipelines, belongs to a Polish-based company owned by two Ukrainians, according to the reports.
Germany’s ARD broadcaster SWR radio and Die Zeit newspaper launched what they called their own joint journalistic investigation into the activities of the German law enforcement authorities involved in this case.
Their findings indicate the yacht set sail from the German northeastern port city of Rostock on September 6, with the explosives and equipment for the operation arriving in Rostock separately in a delivery truck. The yacht was later identified on the Danish island of Christianso, located just north-east of the island of Bornholm, where the pipelines were damaged on September 26, 2022.
The yacht was then returned to the owners, and the investigators managed to find traces of explosives on a table in its cabin, the outlets claim. The act of sabotage was reportedly carried out by a team of six people, including a captain, two divers, two diving assistants, and a female doctor.
The identities or even nationalities of the suspects remain unclear as they had “professionally forged passports,” which they also used to rent the yacht in the first place, according to German media outlets. The German authorities have also reportedly found no evidence that might point to who might have ordered the pipelines to be sabotaged.
According to ARD, SWR and Die Zeit, a Western secret service organization allegedly tipped off some European “partner services” shortly after the explosions, saying that a “Ukrainian commando” unit was responsible for the attack. The media outlets also claimed there had been “further intelligence indications” that a pro-Ukrainian group could be behind it.
The German government has not commented on the information presented by the media so far. A few days ago, Sweden, Denmark and Germany “informed the United Nations Security Council that the investigations are ongoing and that there are still no results,” a government spokesman declared on Tuesday. Kiev denied any involvement in the incident when contacted by the German media.
Citing some anonymous US intelligence officials, the New York Times on Tuesday reported that a “pro-Ukrainian group” was behind the September 2022 attacks. “No American or British nationals were involved,” it added.
The NYT also said that the bombs that tore apart three out of four pipeline strings at the bottom of the Baltic Sea were “most likely” planted by experienced divers, who might have received “specialized government training in the past.”
March 08, 2023 at 03:20AM