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Russia’s Attack on Nord Stream Pipelines Means Putin Has Truly Weaponized Energy

Putin Russia
President of Russia Vladimir Putin Meeting with members of the Government (via videoconference).

Russia’s wartime arsenal now appears to include sabotage of underwater pipelines.

On Monday, authorities in Europe noticed a sudden drop in pressure in the Nord Stream and Nord Stream II natural gas pipelines, which connect Russia with Germany. Since that time, a total of three leaks (two in NS1 and one in NS2) across both pipelines have been found. Seismologists in Denmark registered explosions in the area measuring around 2.1 and 2.3 on the Richter scale.

The leaks are in an area of the Baltic Sea just east of Bornholm Island, a strategic Danish outpost. The leaks are almost certainly an act of Russian sabotage. Several European nations, including Germany, have come to this same conclusion. In fact, the CIA reportedly warned the Germans of this very possibility over the summer.

The release of gas from the pipelines (which had been filled to maintain pressure but were not currently in active use), has led to ships being advised to stay five nautical miles from the leaks and aircraft at least 3,280 feet above. The pictures emerging of gas surfacing in a giant frothy circle in the Baltic Sea are certainly concerning for nations nearby — and that, of course, is partly the point.

Aside from the obvious environmental impacts of methane being released at this scale to the atmosphere, (one more example of how Russia couldn’t care less about carbon emissions), the area of the seabed around Bornholm is particularly environmentally sensitive. The sea east of Bornholm was a major dumping for chemical weapons and munitions post-WWII. Combatants in the war are thought to have dumped between 40,000 to 100,000 tons of munitions and chemical agents into the Baltic SeaThe Soviet Union is thought to have dumped around 40,000 tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, at a dump site near Bornholm following the war.

This emerged as a significant issue during the building of the pipelines. The consortium building the project needed to secure special permits for ships with anchors to take part in sensitive locations. While some dumping sites are known, poor record-keeping, storms, navigational errors, accidents, and simply soldiers jettisoning their cargo willy-nilly means the extent and location of dangerous agents on the Baltic Sea floor will never be fully known.

This latest salvo should be read clearly as another striking example of how Russia continues to utilize every tool at its disposal to damage and pressure the West. Putin sees his war in Ukraine and his larger attacks against the West as a long-term conflict that won’t be resolved anytime soon which is why he’s willing to literally cut ties with Europe via sabotage to the very Nord Stream pipelines he invested so much money (including influence buying) and political and diplomatic capital to secure not long ago.

The Russian-controlled operator of the pipeline threw cold water on a quick fix, stating, “It’s impossible now to estimate the timeframe for restoring operations of the gas shipment infrastructure. The destruction that happened within one day at three lines of the Nord Stream pipeline system is unprecedented.”

It wasn’t long ago that the U.S. and its allies in eastern Europe were seeking to stop Germany from allowing NS2 to be completed — to no avail. Now, with Europe’s response to increasingly sever energy ties with Russia after Putin’s second invasion of Ukraine, making the pipelines defunct, Putin has found a creative use for them.

The sabotage is also meant to showcase Russia’s ability to sabotage underwater infrastructure. The timing is no accident; alongside the recently announced Russian mobilization, the leaders of Denmark, Norway, and Poland just joined together at a ceremony to open a new pipeline bringing Norwegian gas to Poland via the Baltic Sea.

The Nord Stream dress rehearsal could presage future attacks against pipelines feeding Europe with energy. If Europe wants to import gas from Algeria, or Azerbaijan, or Norway to replace Russian molecules, then Putin may take efforts to staunch the supply via attacks on pipelines. Taking no chances, today, Norway announced it was raising security at oil and gas facilities.

Already the attack has caused a spike in gas prices in Europe up to 12 percent on Tuesday. For a continent whose families and industry are already reeling from sky-high energy prices (at only the beginning of fall), further increases are yet another cruel blow.

Furthermore, in addition to attacks on energy infrastructure, Putin may be signaling to the West that other critical undersea infrastructure, namely fiber optic cables, could be next. Russia is known to have surveyed key fiber optic cables spanning the world’s oceans. In January, a fiber optic cable connecting the Norwegian mainland with its Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic was severed in an incident which has been deemed likely caused by “human impact.”

A final facet of the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage is Russia’s twisting of its actions to serve diplomatic ends. You can view recent Russian statements over the leaks — “an unprecedented situation requiring urgent investigation” and “we are extremely concerned about this news,” as foreshadowing. Soon there may be an attempt to shift blame on to the West (Russia will obviously deny involvement) with talking points about an affront to the rule of law — and demands for financial restitution.

Despite some fits and starts, the effort of Europe to move away from Russian energy, and its overall success in filling its gas storage in advance of the oncoming winter has surely rattled the Kremlin. This week’s sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines has many meanings, all with the intention of rattling Europe. The West must not blink, but should be aware that Putin’s gambit may be a harbinger of similar things to come.

Expert Biography: Daniel Kochis is a senior policy analyst for European affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. He specializes in trans-Atlantic security issues regularly publishing on U.S. policy in Europe, NATO, U.S.-Russia relations, and Arctic issues. Kochis is also a regional author for the Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength.

Written By

Daniel Kochis is a senior policy analyst in European Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. He specializes in trans-Atlantic security issues regularly publishing on U.S. policy in Europe, NATO, U.S.-Russia relations, and Arctic issues. Kochis is also a regional author for the Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength.

68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. Gary Jacobs

    September 28, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Excellent run down of the situation. I would add that Germany has leased 3 floating LNG regasification units. I believe 2 are supposed to arrive by the end of this year. The US, Australia, Qatar, and others have ready supply of LNG to send.

    They also plan to build two larger LNG regasification facilities on shore with the ability to convert those to hydrogen when the supply is available. H2pro in Israel has made major breakthroughs in the Hydrogen process for grid scale and large ship/plane use.. as well as for long term storage of renewable energy that is a much better solution than lithium battery storage.

    Bottom line: a bit of short term pain for the EU will be a long term gain of secure energy supply from reliable partners… and a complete breakaway from Russian bully blackmail.

  2. Maarek

    September 28, 2022 at 11:47 am

    The hypocrisy and shamelessness of the author of this text can only be matched by the stupidity of those who really believe that Russia blew up its own gas pipelines. There is more than enough indirect evidence that the U.S. did this. Starting with an admission by top US political leadership that they would destroy the pipeline if Russia went to war, and ending with recent US military exercises exactly at this location.This is not even propaganda, I just don’t know how to characterize this article.

  3. Goran

    September 28, 2022 at 11:56 am

    Destroying your own pipelines to send a message is like breaking your own leg to avoid draft; an extreme sign of desperation and a definitive proof that things are not going as planned.

  4. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    September 28, 2022 at 11:59 am

    The only problem is there appears to be very convincing evidence that it was the US, not Russia as evidenced by US resources in the area tied to recent underwater Baltic Sea operations.
    Russia paid for this pipeline and can – and has – just turn off the flow. When this thing is over they need the major revenue these pipelines provide.

  5. Elijah’s Ghost

    September 28, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Good grief.
    What possible motivation could bring Russia to blow up its own pipeline ?

    Here’s some interesting facts for you to choke on.
    A: two months ago USN Seals trained in this exact area in ‘ undersea demolition of infrastructure’.
    B. Joe Biden threatened to blow up Nordstream 1 when the war in the Ukraine began.
    C. Nearly 100% of Ukraines highest political and military leaders are US EXPATS.

    I truly hate Globalist propagandists !!

  6. Scottfs

    September 28, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    The threat against fiber optic cables is reall an potentially devastating. Elin Musk’s Starlink can help takes up some of the slack, but security must be beefed up.

    Putin is a rogue actor and the stakes are clear in Ukraine. Long term, this will hurt Russia more than the West. A move to a nuclear energy system, like France, which gets 72% of its energy from nuclear, is long overdue. Clean, safe, and carbon-free, it’s always on, always available.

  7. Rodavlas

    September 28, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    So basically you are telling that the always inferior russian weapons were capable to mock the NATO defenses, get into NATO waters, and make sabotage operation and nobody in NATO was capable to detect it?

    Putin was stupid enough to blown up his main blackmail card?

    Anyone can see that pointing Russia this time make no sense at all, because Putin had lost the capability to make gas prices unstable at not having control of gas valve?

    Who wins the most? Not Russia, lost control over gas prices.
    Who lost? Germany for sure! The german industries are fleeing to US right now…
    So, who truly wins?

  8. Jexter

    September 28, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Lol, Why would Russia do it? They can just turn it off the pipe from Russia. Definitely US did it, at least US can sell more LNG.

  9. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    September 28, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    Apparently, my earlier comment that most evidence points to the US as being the party responsible for damaging the pipeline was worthy of deletion as, like most of my comments submitted here, it has vanished.
    Why do you have a comments section if you don’t want comments or do you only want comments that agree with your authors’?

  10. Yrral

    September 28, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    The US should not build anything for the European and damage our environment for them,the European are reaping,what they sowed,beside when you lie down with a dog,you bound to come up with Russian fleas

  11. TMark

    September 28, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Interesting form of signaling by Moscow. The pipeline is Russian owned and operated, so this doesn’t qualify as an ‘escalation’ against their adversaries, thus no western retaliation. It signals that Europe’s alternative imported gas and oil routes are at risk. But it also signals to Germany and downstream customers that no diplomatic “peace for gas” breakthrough is possible through the remainder of the year. Moscow is surrendering avenues of resolution, thus emboldening Germany to unite more tightly with NATO. Very peculiar.

    I suggest an additional domestic theory: Putin is signaling Russia’s energy oligarchs that any coup attempts won’t immediately restore economic normalcy. He’s telling them their fates are directly tied to his. No way out. If oligarchs had designs on bribing generals to unseat Putin, they’ve now lost much of that leverage.

  12. Gary Jacobs

    September 28, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    LoL… attribution may indeed be difficult at this point… but for those who pretend Russia has no interest in blowing up its own pipeline you should consider:

    – they wanted to hurt Europe, in some areas they were already just flaring off gas instead of sending it to Europe

    – in a legal case they would be liable for breach of contract and owe a lot of money of they fully turned off the gas as an overt act. In their minds this would give them plausible deniability in a court of law.

    – it creates an environmental disaster in NATO waters.

    – Putin is former KGB, this type of Sabotage is right up his alley. Think Flight 17 shoot down in 2014, poisoning of Ukrainian Presidential candidate in 2004 along with poisoning of dissidents all over the world, tossing some dissidents out of windows and claiming it was suicide, Purported False Flag bombing of Apartment blocks to start 2nd Chechen War, etc.

  13. mrsatyre

    September 28, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    “…to replace Russian molecules…”

    What a bizarre way to state the obvious.

  14. gre81

    September 28, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Is this a CIA run site as the propaganda is so obvious. What logic was used to come up with Russia doing it? Doesn’t pass the common sense test. Maybe it is like the “Magic Bullet Theory”. My bet is that the US or NATO did this.

  15. Stefan Stackhouse

    September 28, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    “Russia did it!” . . . “No, the US did it!”. . .”No, Russia certainly must have done it!”. . . “No, only the US could have done it!” And so it goes.

    Let’s look at this from a different angle: “Qui bono”?

    Some claim that the Russians did this – to themselves, mostly – to “send a message”. The message being: “Nice undersea cables you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to them.” Maybe, but this doesn’t really have the ring of truth.

    Others claim that the US did this. There is no doubt that we do have the capability, and can probably cover our tracks as well. Why would we do this? Well, how many times per day have there been articles posted with worries about whether the Europeans will hang tough or fold when winter gets cold and natgas supplies get tight? Would there be a better way to assure that bailing out of the united front for Ukraine is no longer even a possible option? Add in the fact that this effectively cuts off the flow of cash going in the opposite direction toward Russia more effectively than could any possible “sanctions”.

    I don’t know if the US is responsible or not. This analysis does give me reason to doubt the propaganda line that it was the Russians, a line that seemed to be trotted out a little too quickly.

  16. 403Forbidden

    September 28, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    USA has been rogue after 1945.

    Carried out coups and illegal regime change around the globe, invaded nations and shot down airliners, propagate a policy of applying hitlerian sanctions regime worldwide and seized economic assets of foreign nnations.

    Latest acts are staging proxy wars and sabotaging gas pipelines in international waters to force allies to divert their gas supplies.

    Truly the devil and the terror genghis of our time.

  17. TG

    September 28, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    OK we will likely never know for sure who exactly blew up these pipelines. Maybe Putin went all mad dog – certainly he has been shown to make rash decisions (like invading the Ukraine). But somehow I very much doubt it. This removes Russia’s ability to turn the gas back on – this lessens Putins negotiating power. I would wager a considerable sum that it was the western powers that are responsible. At the very least, this should be noted as a possibility.

    I wonder if the Germans were consulted? This was as much an attack on Germany as on Russia. Again assuming that this was a USA/western attack on a very valuable Russian asset, that the Russians paid like tens of billions of dollars to construct, I can’t imagine that Putin won’t want to blow up something the west values.

    We hear that Putin is increasingly desperate – and perhaps he is. But if in fact the USA/west blew up the pipelines to deprive Putin of bargaining leverage, well, maybe Putin is not the only player getting worried. Seems to me that the western allies are playing super hardball here.

  18. Gary Jacobs

    September 28, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    403forbidden

    The US has made plenty of mistakes over the years. We generally own up to them and quite often make amends and/or smooth things over. That’s how Vietnam is now basically our ally against China. Plenty of other examples as such.

    Even when we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan after we were actually attacked on 9/11… we tried to give them their countries right back and leave something resembling stability behind. Sometimes that worked better than others.

    Russia nakedly invading Ukraine is a whole other level. The US never tried to annex anything from any of those countries we had wars with in over 100 years.

    Pretending the US is the rogue regime in the world is pure projection to deflect from your need to get your own house in order and stop invading your neighbors. Although considering how many times Imperial Russia has invaded your neighbors over the last few hundred years I expect those habits will be hard to break.

    Let this experience of defeat in Ukraine be a lesson in humility for you.

  19. self

    September 28, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    “The Russians did this”. Right… and I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    It’s interesting to know what the “Russians are going to next”, cut the fiber optic lines.

    Thank You, C.I.A. for keeping us up with the plot line and what happens next.

  20. abraham lincoln

    September 28, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Putin blew up the gas pipelines, that is certain. The goofy clowns here shilling for Russian notwithstanding. Putin views this as a sort of insurance policy. He is super paranoid at this point, wondering whether the West will sponsor some sort of plan to kill him or remove him from office. He blew up the pipelines because he wants the West to know that even if he is removed, any successor will not be able to turn on the energy either. So the West has less incentive to sponsor or assist any removal plan that would take him out.

  21. Jim

    September 28, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    I’ve read the article & the comments.

    No evidence or proof in either the article or comments.

    Just innuendo…

    As serious as this is, I can’t help, but have a little fun with this…

    I’ve read the seabed is about 225 feet (75 meters) deep at the site.

    It’s deep for a frogman… but not unreachable.

    This quote from a diving website, “Usually, commercial divers go to a depth of around 200-300 meters, especially if any construction or repair work is involved.”

    Given the site, a support boat or ship would be needed, but a submarine could be at the site without being detected. It might not take a particularly advanced submarine.

    I have a possibility: SPECTRE.

    Yes, you read that right.

    This could have been done by a non-governmental agency.

    There are many private parties that have the motive… and quite possibly the means (the field is wide open, if frogmen can reach the necessary depth… don’t think there are any private submarines around… think again).

    Also, if a private party can reach the site, then there is the possibility that the Ukraine government could reach it or contract a private party to do the wet work… ahem.

    Or ANY other government that doesn’t want Russian gas to reach Germany or the rest of Europe for that matter.

    But let’s be clear, I don’t know. The point is nobody knows who did it at this point, other than the perpetrators, themselves (and who paid them), and they aren’t telling.

    But consider this: Ukraine is the largest black market hub in the world and corrupt as heck, quite right.

    There are many Ukrainians outside (and inside) the government who want to keep Ukraine as it is, a black market… lots of money to be made in a black market… there are Westerners, too, who stand to profit if there is never a rapprochement between Germany and Russia or the West and Russia.

    So, is it beyond the pale to suggest a Spectre, type organization, involved in this act of sabotage?

    Industrial sabotage… lots of money to be made via LNG if Germany and Russia can’t ever bury the hatchet.

    SPECTRE… think about it… might make a good movie…

  22. Ben Leucking

    September 28, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Hmmm. There has been a lot of bloviating in the comments, especially from the always-present Russian trolls, but no one is asking the right questions. For example:
    -Has there been any suspicious Russian sub activity out of Kaliningrad lately?
    -Have Denmark/Sweden noted any unannounced submarine transits into the Black Sea prior to the pipeline ruptures?
    -Does anyone know where the USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is operating these days?

    Of course, the answers to these questions are closely held by the US and NATO, and for good reason. The point is people are throwing blame without the barest shred of evidence to support their claims, including the author of this article.

  23. Steven

    September 28, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Stefan, you are very smart. You too Gary, love your comments.

  24. Ezra Teter

    September 28, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    Why would Russia destroy their leverage by laying waste to pipelines when they can just shut off the flow? Without further evidence, this is just an irresponsible article. Articles like this are why I don’t trust a single thing coming out of our media about this war without significant corroborating evidence.

  25. Ezra Teter

    September 28, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Man, you are so close to realizing that Russia has zero incentive to do such a thing. Maybe someone else did this.

  26. hrholm

    September 28, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    Russia blow up its own critical gas pipeline it co-developed with Germany at significant cost? Why the heck would it ever do that? It would not have to! It had the ability to shut off the gas anyway, so why cut off the arm to spite the head? Being able to do that gave Russia tremendous leverage over (western) Europe’s most significant power under the present circumstances. The pipeline was Russia’s ultimate political trump card (and no, not *that* Tump!) vis-a-vis the whole Ukranian situation. It was just waiting for winter to set in to finally play it. Now that card is no longer available, and who knows how Mr. Putin will inevitably respond? And certainly Germany would not bite the prospective hand that could warm it, that would be suicide in the face of a possible harsh winter. No, this thing has USA/Biden administration practically written all over it with some obvious fingerprints. Know why? Because Biden as much said so last winter, and here are his very words regarding it:

    Biden (at press conference): “If Russia invades,then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
    Reporter: “But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany’s control?”
    Biden: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”
    ——
    “Bring and end to it” Now without further specificity, that is a pretty open-ended statement regarding a means of making it happen. And do not put anything sinister past this President. Look how he weaponizes the FBI against some of his most unthreatening and virtually hapless/helpless (in the face of 25+ heavily armed agents) political opponents. He desperately wants to keep the conflict going to wear down Putin. The Democratic Party never gave up the narrative that Putin somehow enabled Donald Trump’s election, and now they still want revenge. Siding with Ukraine without any questions asked enables them to exact it. Besides, Ukraine hardly has any navy at all, much less a Baltic Fleet. Ukraine is nowhere near the Baltic. Now who knows how this was done, but we can almost rest assured the U.S. Navy could have been surreptitiously tasked with facilitating it. Who knows, maybe they sent Ukrainian divers in with explosives from either a sub or surface ship. But wait, does Ukraine even *have* any naval divers? Even that is a dubious proposition. If it were something Russia was capable of, we can bet that the U.S. is at least equally as capable, if not more so. And under its present ‘leadership’, it certainly has the motivation to, at the least. The administration just had to wait for the right opportune moment. And shazam, they just happened to find an ideal one. Just look at the timing—right when one bad hurricane is about to (or by now has) hit Florida square on, the perfect thing to distract from this spurious deed. If the U.S. indeed provided the ways and means to pull this off, it would really be a defacto act of war, and one so underhanded that we could just forget about impeachment and somehow have Biden arrested and turned right over to the Russian security police—-Siberia would actually be too good for him. ‘Bonus’ for America: Don’t forget that keeping the conflict going keeps the dough rolling in for Western arms-makers, too. And they’re not the only ones. I heard Hunter Biden may be running low on cash. Given all that he made in/from Ukraine in the past, why not find some way of cutting him in on whatever take is available in this, too? After all, he may be needing, say, a new Mercedes, or some like fancy toy costing even more.

  27. Ezra Teter

    September 28, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    Every single one of those wars can be seen as acts of imperial genocide. The millions we killed in Vietnam are more than those killed in the Armenian genocide. I would hardly use the word “ally” to describe Vietnam. They are a lesser power that plays two more powerful countries off of each other to increase their own security.

  28. Mike

    September 29, 2022 at 12:59 am

    Did I miss the part of the article where the author gave the reasons/evidence for his assertion that “the leaks are almost certainly an act of Russian sabotage”..?..

  29. Tamerlane

    September 29, 2022 at 1:58 am

    The author and the resident Ukrainian trolls make bold accusations incriminating Russia for blowing up its own pipeline, forgetting Cicero’s old line: “cui bono”—“who benefits”. Clearly, the primary immediate beneficiary to destruction of the pipeline is American gas exporters. How on God’s green earth do you go from using deductive reasoning to bandwagon condemnations against a power for an attack on that power.

  30. marcjf

    September 29, 2022 at 2:07 am

    Sure the Russians did it…

    Infiltrated a sub or suchlike near a NATO base with ample undersea detection equipment, whilst a USN/NATO exercise was underway, and then – with extreme military competence apparently lacking elsewhere – managed to detonate charges. And all this just outside NATO territorial waters rather than somewhere else. Or even turn the valve to “off”.

    And the reason they did this is obvious too. Just not to me.

  31. Yrral

    September 29, 2022 at 3:47 am

    Jacobs,Useful American idiot,are willing support a Russian Influence Corrupt Organization,like Ukraine has no knowledge of the corruption of Ukraine, Ukraine has never been a liberal democracy,that value the principle of civil rights,human rights and the protection of minority rights, Ukrainain just recently outlawed, men rights to beat the hell out of women Google Ukrainain Domestic Abuse

  32. GhostTomahawk

    September 29, 2022 at 3:56 am

    Biden was on TV in February saying how the US would take out these pipelines. So. Why would Putin destroy the pipelines that find his economy? Doesn’t it make sense that the US destroyed them… you know after we said we would…

    Stupid article.

  33. Darwin

    September 29, 2022 at 7:07 am

    Is the author abysmally stupid or just pretending? Most ridiculous tripe I’ve read in a long time. And that is saying something.

  34. TheDon

    September 29, 2022 at 7:22 am

    Its simple.
    Get your energy from multiple sources. So what if a single line fails whether overpressured or sabotage or war.

  35. Benjamine Harding

    September 29, 2022 at 8:09 am

    Total nonsense. A complete lie that Russia did it. The author is either plain stupid or is being paid by those that did it. If there is any kind of retaliation by Russia the odds that they did this goes to zero. Why blow it up when you can just turn the valves to the shut position?

  36. Quartermaster

    September 29, 2022 at 8:13 am

    There is no evidence, at this point, that points to anyone as having broken the pipelines. “indirect” evidence is not sufficient and is actually just speculation. At this point, all we have is speculation as to the guilty party.

  37. Anybody

    September 29, 2022 at 9:30 am

    Come on! I’m against naked aggression, empire building with barbaric ugliness, and especially genocide. But even I won’t believe it’s the ruskies that did it. They could have simply turned off the tap, instead of blowing it up. If I were to guess, I’d guess Ukranians.

  38. Gary Jacobs

    September 29, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Yrral,

    LoL, you keep beating the same worn out drum. Russia is BY FAR the single most corrupting influence in Ukraine for hundreds of years. They have poisoned presidential candidates, used oil money to corrupt, Stalin purposely caused a famine that killed 3 Million people, and so much more.

    You continue to project your own failures onto others. You really should stop lashing out and try getting your own house in order. Russia clearly has its own set of problems.

    Ukraine wants to be free of Russian influence. Instead of desperately holding onto influence there for no reason other than a naked power grab, let them go do their own way, cease influence operations there…and then if you have time to check in while you are actually doing something to help Russia…you can find out how Ukraine handles itself.

    Have a nice day.

  39. OIF Combat Vet

    September 29, 2022 at 10:52 am

    Whoa!!! Isn’t that a big leap to suggest Russia would shoot itself in the nutsack like that? Isn’t there ample reason and documentary evidence that the Biden regime may done it? I think there is, I wouldn’t put anything past these fascist globalists.

  40. Gary Jacobs

    September 29, 2022 at 11:04 am

    GhostTomahawk, Tamerlane, and the rest of the Russia apologists:

    As mentioned before, Of course attribution at this point is difficult… however, just as much as you think the pro-Ukraine crowd is in too much of a rush to blame Russia, all of you are equally as guilty [if not more] of making excuses why it couldnt possibly be Russia.

    The EU has been saying quite openly for months now that it is their overt policy to completely cease purchasing Russian gas ASAP. That will render all of those pipelines completely worthless at some point in the not too distant future.

    Many countries have already demonstrated that they can make massive cuts to their purchase of Russian gas immediately. That makes it clear that Russia doesnt have much to lose by blowing up those pipes. In fact, they gain ‘plausible deniability’ in a court of law that they did not breach the contract by overtly shutting off the flow.

    One of you mentioned a Biden speech about the pipes, fine. Ironically Biden was the one who lifted sanctions on Nord Stream 2 in an effort to appease Russia and avoid a war. That said, Russia has also mentioned that the future of their gas sales lay with the pipeline being built from Siberia to China, not with NordStreams to EU.

    As for the potential US involvement. I highly doubt the lefty environmentalist types in the White House would do such a thing as to have that gas leak cause such an eco disaster. I’m not even a super lefty and that’s my biggest problem with potential US involvement. The US has been warning Europe of the consequences of relying on Russian gas for years. Even the supposedly pro-Putin Trump caused a diplomatic stir when he told German Chancellor Merkel to her face at a public event that Germany was too reliant on Russia and that it was Trump admin policy to oppose Nord Stream 2. Therefore even if the miniscule chance the US was involved turns out to be true, I would simply ask about environmental clean up and impact…and move on.

    One of the Putin Trolls speculated it could be Ukraine. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all year. Someone needs to look at a map and gauge just how far Ukraine is from the Baltic Sea. The idea that Ukraine could or would bother to pull that off is even more absurd. Ukraine actually has a bunch of pipelines going over their land from Russia to Europe which they have not shut off or tried to damage during this entire war. They have plenty of juicy gas pipe targets if they wanted to leverage Europe in that way. They do not.

  41. Jim

    September 29, 2022 at 11:11 am

    This article is ridiculous.

    So ridiculous even many if not most Ukraine supporters don’t buy it.

    And that’s saying something.

    (The Biden administration should take note of the reaction to this article… it doesn’t pass the smell test.)

  42. Gary Jacobs

    September 29, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    What a coincidence [ok, not really]…Russia’s energy war expands to the NatGas pipes running overland through Ukraine as Gazprom threatens to cut gas deliveries to EU via Ukraine, “Russia could interrupt its remaining gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine”, Russian-controlled energy giant Gazprom announced on Wednesday.

    Gazprom warned that gas supplies via Ukraine were at risk due to a legal dispute with Ukraine’s state-owned gas company Naftogaz over transit fees.

    Moscow is now threatening to impose sanctions on Naftogaz over the arbitration proceedings. Naftogaz had initiated a new arbitration proceeding against Gazprom earlier this month because Russia did not pay for the standard gas transportation fee for sending the gas through Ukraine.

    No one should be suprised that Russia is conducting a coordinated energy war strategy and the EU and Ukraine. They have been doing it for years in one way shape or form… and preparing for the time where they could do max damage by cutting of gas supplies if/when it was a useful lever.

    Let’s not forget that On January 7, 2009 all Russian gas flows through Ukraine were halted for 13 days, completely cutting off supplies to Southeastern Europe in the dead of winter. Countries like Poland and Lithuania learned their lesson. Germany did not.

    Regardless of who is responsible for Nord Streams, this period looks like the complete decoupling of EU from Russian Gas. It should have happened years ago.

  43. Frank Martin

    September 29, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Total BS. Our country did this. Anyone with an objective mind & knowledge of the current situation & our country’s long rich history of dirty deeds knows this. NATO just concluded military exercises in that area. Who benefits? Not Russia. They have lost all leverage in being able to provide cheap energy to Europe, they control the flow of gas through the lines, why blow them up? It will cost them tens of billions of dollars to repair them if they can even be fixed. Had the lines not been blown up, it would have been an escape route for European governments when their populations started to rise up against their governments during the winter. Thus forcing peace talks. Now the US can provide gas, but at a higher price AND continue providing tens of billions in military hardware so the war continues. Thus further weakening Russia at the expense of Ukraine. Anyone trying to point blame anywhere except our country is performing deflection propaganda.

  44. Goran

    September 29, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    Even if Putin didn’t do it, there is no reason to believe the U.S. did. As some suggested, it could have been a third party that either profits from further escalation (China), or like in one of those movies, a band of extreme nationalists within Russian establishment that sees its chance in widening the conflict.

    Saying “cui bono” doesn’t really help here as too many players have a motive. The conclusion that Putin wanted to get the last use out of infrastructure that was about to become obsolete makes sense. But then again, the motives of so many other players make sense too. We may never find out who was behind this.

  45. David Ater

    September 29, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    ” The leaks are almost certainly an act of Russian sabotage”

    This totally blows away the author’s credibility.
    Russia lost political power with the destruction of the pipelines. Prior to the explosion, Russia could play the game of turning the pipeline on or off depending if countries like Germany/Hungary were being nice. Now Russia can’t, so why would they do the act and lose political power? In contrast, the USA/NATO gained by ending Western Europe’s addiction to Russian Nat Gas. So who obviously had motive to do the Act? USA. The attack could be sub contracted out to another country, but the winner is the USA, a seller of Nat Gas to Europe.

  46. Donzi

    September 29, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    So the entity holding Nat Gas hostage, shoots the hostage? Crazy Ivan indeed!

  47. Disinfo

    September 29, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Russia destroyed its own pipeline it spent billions to build. Sounds like BS! They control the spigot; this sounds more like an EU /US plan to force the European citizens to accept that cheap Russian gas is no longer accessible. Another reason Germany withheld the rebuilt pump hardware, they knew Russia would never use it….

  48. Gary Jacobs

    September 29, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    David Ater:

    FYI: Russian gas flow to Hungary goes through Turkstream, not Nordstream. The entire purpose of Nordstream is to bypass the Baltic states and send gas directly to Germany for use in Germany. As of now, Turkstream is not affected… and Russia and Turkey maintain cordial relations. Basic facts matter.

    As well, see my posts above about the EU announcing clearly and publicly they plan to stop buying Russian gas asap. Nordstream pipelines were of rapidly diminishing value to Russia.

    The E.U. has cut its dependence on Russian gas since the beginning of the year from roughly 40% of the bloc’s imports to 9% today.

    Gazprom’s artificially manufactured delays with the Nord Stream pipeline accelerated that.

    Also of note, The Nord Stream pipelines were the product of massive corruption at the top of the German government that infected the state, industry, and German society. Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder left German politics and immediately got a seat as a board member of Gazprom. Russian ability to corrupt at its most crystal clear level. It has done similar things in Ukraine for decades… make that centuries.

    Gerhard Schröder sold out his country, democracy, and the free world. Merkel wasnt much better with the public ceremony with Medvedev related to NordStreams. Chickens coming home to roost. Their new Chancellor has his work cut out for him cleaning up his predecessors Russian mess.

  49. Roger Bacon

    September 29, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    No one with two functioning brain cells believes Russia blew up it’s own pipeline. Biden said they would stop Nordstream and he did. Also, there is a new non-Russian pipeline that went online the same day from Norway or Sweden.
    If Biden is going to try to use this as an excuse to escalate the war he’s going to have to try harder.

  50. MaxAmoeba

    September 29, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    RUSSIA’S attack ??????

  51. Bertram

    September 29, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Why would Russia damage their own pipeline, when they could just shut it off?

    So they can blame America for it, of course.
    Shutting it off would cause the anger to fall on Russia this winter from energy starved Europeans. Russia wants them blaming the US.

  52. Pete20602

    September 29, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    Those nutty Russians! First, they set up shop at a nuclear power plant, store their munitions and muster their troops there, then start bombing it! Now they bomb a pipeline which they own and in which they have a lot invested. They so crazy!

  53. Tamerlane

    September 29, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    It is amazing what the interventionists will trot out at “fact” to justify their mission creep “regime change” goal here. Sure, there’s “yellow cake uranium from Niger” that Saddam transported to Baghdad! Of course, and if you disagree you’re an obviously “pro-Baathist/pro-Saddam want-Americans-to-die-in-Iraq French sympathizer”!!

    Yeah, I’ve heard all this before. Then, as now, emotions control the author and guys who back him like Goran, Lincoln and the rest of these hacks. They at their core are willing to ask us to take them at their word, ignoring our lying eyes, because of some “greater good”. Well, this isn’t Plato’s allegorical “Republic” where the “golden-souled” Biden/Author/Goran et. al., are somehow justified in using the “noble-lie” to manipulate our country into a war over a non-ally in an area of non-strategic/substantial national interest.

    They forget the logic of Pascal’s Wager here. If Russia is bluffing (if Hell and God don’t exist in Pascal’s wager there is no harm), no harm is done us by taking them at their word (no harm in not believing in a God/Hell), but if they are not bluffing (there is a God/Hell), not believing can easily end over a billion lives (eternal damnation in Pascal’s Wager). There is no reason why we should assume that Putin is any more of a “mad dog” than Saddam. Both are logical rational actors who both wish at their core interest to advance what they believe is in both their personal and in their national existential interests. Sure they are intertwined in both, but this makes it all the more likely that escalation to whatever means are available will occur if ever a legitimate threat to national survival/existential interests emerge.

    Americans are smarter than this propaganda. We have no interest in yet another regime change crusade—particularly against the world’s foremost nuclear power (in alliance, tacit or active, with 80% of the world’s population).

  54. Gary Jacobs

    September 29, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    Tamerlane:

    You should dial back the certainty with which you post. One can stipulate that the US was wrong in its assessment of Iraq having a large WMD program at the time of the 2003 invasion AND come to the objective conclusion that the Yellowcake hunt by Iraq is actually the part of the WMD story that has more substance to it than just about anything else in the case the US was making.

    I highly recommend reading an article by left of center pundit who was no friend of the Bush administration Christopher Hitchens:
    Title:
    Case Closed
    The truth about the Iraqi-Niger “yellowcake” nexus.
    JULY 25, 2006 12:46 PM

    There are other must reads by Hitchens on the subject as well.

    Furthermore, your statement of “this makes it all the more likely that escalation to whatever means are available will occur if ever a legitimate threat to national survival/existential interests emerge.”

    Except no such threat was ever present from Ukraine. Or NATO. The US pulled the last of its tanks out of Europe in 2013, and Putin invaded Crimea and the Donbas in 2014. Far from perceiving a threat, it was precisely when he perceived weakness that he struck.

    Russia provides new proof that NATO itself has never actually threatened Russia. Reports indicate that Russia has redeployed up to 80 percent of troops from its borders on the Baltic states and Finland, including removing S300 Air Defenses from the St. Petersberg area, to plug losses in Ukraine. Of an original estimated 30,000 Russian troops European officials said there could be just 6,000 Russian troops left in Kaliningrad & Baltics area… leaving Russia with only a skeleton crew in what was once its densest concentration of military force facing NATO territory.

    Putin leaving his western flank open to NATO invasion in order to fortify Kherson or Donbas seems expressly designed to undermine every person like yourself who attempts to pretend that NATO is or has ever been an offensive threat to Russia. Which of course it is not.

    Even now, Biden has calibrated the weapons given to Ukraine which do NOT include 190mile range ATACMS, no US or NATO Tanks, No US or NATO fighter planes, etc. Biden is doing a pretty good job of signaling that the battlefield is in Ukraine and he has no intention of even the perception of giving Ukraine the means to strike deeper into Russia.

  55. Vlad the field mouse

    September 29, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Let’s see what Russia has done to themselves: shot down their own fighters, hit themselves with missiles, blown up ammo depots and shot each other. So, it’s not much of a stretch, given Pootie’s desperation, that they would put up a false flag operation.

    Like Trump, Putin has a difficult time with truth.

  56. Dr. Joel Weymouth

    September 29, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Russia does not need to “destroy their own pipeline”, just TURN IT OFF. This is exactly what they did months ago. We do have the direct evidence that Biden said that we WOULD destroy the pipeline if Russia invaded. This SMARMY CIA hack either has the IQ of a Rabbit or is a professional liar.

    Boys and girls: this is an act of war that OUR PRESIDENT perpetrated on a NUCLEAR power. This CIA operative writing the drivel on this website should realize that WE POKED a tiger. Putin MUST respond. HE MUST HURT US. Biden DECLARED WAR on RUSSIA. He has NO AUTHORITY to do so. What happens next could be as simple as destroying all the internet cables under the ocean. Shooting down OUR satellites, blowing an EMP bomb over the US, firing HYPERSONIC anti-carrier missiles and wiping out our Aircraft Carriers. What our senile president and his radical handlers should remember: “what would we do if we suffered this blow”. RETALIATE. Russia will do that. Then what will we do after they retaliate? This could go NUCLEAR fast: DC, NYC, and LA just in time for a very cold winter.

  57. Serhio

    September 29, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Only idiots can believe that the Russians blew up their own gas pipeline. It was enough for the Russians to shut off the taps and the goal was achieved. But there is one country that has been struggling with the construction of this gas pipeline for a very long time and its president promised in plain text to destroy the Nord Stream.
    Blowing up the Russian gas pipeline of the United States (it does not matter whose hands made: the United States, the British, the Poles or the Balts) opened a Pandora’s box. Let’s ask ourselves a simple question: if gas is not going to consumers through the Russian pipe now, but through the Norwegian one, then how long will it take until the Russians think about the injustice of such a situation and blow up the Norwegian gas pipeline? And at the same time several cables in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. And at the same time several satellites. After all, you can play these games together.

  58. Serhio

    September 29, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    Gary Jacobs

    “Many countries have already demonstrated that they can make massive cuts to their purchase of Russian gas immediately. That makes it clear that Russia doesnt have much to lose by blowing up those pipes. In fact, they gain ‘plausible deniability’ in a court of law that they did not breach the contract by overtly shutting off the flow.”

    There is some logic in your words. But do not forget that the leaders in Germany who declare their desire to abandon Russian gas are not kings who rule until their death and that they can change for other people. These other people may say, “Why would Germany kill its industry with high gas prices to please the United States?”. And they will agree with Putin on the supply of gas. I’m willing to bet that Germany will have a new government on the next Thanksgiving Day.

  59. Serhio

    September 29, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Gary Jacobs

    “No one should be suprised that Russia is conducting a coordinated energy war strategy and the EU and Ukraine. They have been doing it for years in one way shape or form… and preparing for the time where they could do max damage by cutting of gas supplies if/when it was a useful lever.”

    It is hardly worth arguing that Russia is pursuing a coordinated strategy of energy war with the EU and Ukraine. Western countries have openly stated that their goal is the economic destruction of Russia. However, war does not happen like in old French films, when noble Musketeers break their sword on their knee. The gas pipeline to Germany is a weapon. Now this weapon will be inactive for some time and will not be able to fire. The logic of “look, I blew up my gas pipeline, which means I can do others” is only worthy of laughter.

  60. Serhio

    September 30, 2022 at 12:46 am

    After World War 1, the losers of the Germans stole leather and fabric from seats on public transport to sew shoes and clothes. After World War 2, they fought over rotten meat dead horses. Then the USA gave a lot of money and allowed them to develop in order to resist the USSR. And now it is not necessary, and the welfare of the Germans is no longer allowed.

  61. xheavy

    September 30, 2022 at 1:18 am

    The article is badly framed as if Russia would have attacked europe using gas lines it has repeatedly turned off in the recent past.

    It does not compute.

    WE the USA however have threatened publicly in speeches that the Pipe system owned by Russia will be no more. As in gone. Destroyed and so on.

    Its destroyed now. If Russia wants a gas pipe to Europe they are going to have to build a new one from scratch. But first they must understand that they were attacked by the USA. THEN strike back. Where it hurts the USA and its People.

    Freaking Europe was reported to have held a Security Council for NATO earlier today and decided that they WILL make war against whomever Nation State that blew up their precious Pipelines. If that means they will make war with the USA? Fine. Have at it.

    Im not outraged, surprised or anything. Way past that now. We are in a realm of a time before the shooting, including nuclear war begins.

    Mildenhall AFB in UK just flew a Rivet Joint Radiation Sniffer Plane around Kallingrad for signatures or presence of Russian Nuclear Weapons at that Bastion a day ago. Im assuming the forward flights of a combat nature to determine future targets to attack are ongoing.

    1945 seems determined to shape the narrative with articles bordering on… illogical and bombastic statements and then fail to publish people who write to point out the problems with such publishing. It makes the entire 1945 Operation seem less than friendly to the USA and its People overall. What a waste.

    We are not that stupid.

  62. oracle2FG

    September 30, 2022 at 1:28 am

    Possible motivations:1. Russian rouge operation to pressure Putin. You can’t sell what you can’t deliver. Could be Russian military views Ukaine as Putin’s disaster, sending a warning to Putin’s security state they won’t get paid in the future, if this continues.
    2. As the article states, a Ru demonstration to EU, that the extensive network of seabed pipelines between Norway and EU can be disrupted, with deniability. EU gas supplies would be crippled.
    3. Possible German operation to take pressure of government to reopen
    nordstream 1. and pressure Ukraine.
    4.Possible operation by other nation like Ukraine, obvious benefit.
    5.Well funded green operation, once in a lifetime shot to damage ns1 & 2, hoping they never get repaired. Given support by western billionaires, not out of the question.

  63. Mario

    September 30, 2022 at 9:42 am

    hrholm:”The Democratic Party never gave up the narrative that Putin somehow enabled Donald Trump’s election”

    It is crystal clear that trump is nothing more than a puppet of the Russians. Worse still: he is one of its minions.
    For what, for whom and wich were the secret documents seized by the FBI?
    Hard to believe that they were to decorate his house.The recipient, then, could only be one: the Kremlin. The question is: did he have time to give them to the russians or did the United States Department of Homeland Security arrived on time?

  64. Gary Jacobs

    September 30, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Serhio and the other Russia excuse makers.

    I have said several times attribution is somewhere between hard to impossible at this stage.

    However, those of you dismissing Russia as a potential culprit are acting rashly. Serhio himself explained that the flow of Gas on the Nord Streams had been turned off already. And that the EU plans to stop buying Russian gas.

    IF Putin saw a chance to blow up the pipes and cause a spike in gas prices he then turned the paperweight Nord Streams have become into a tool to:

    -Spike gas prices and earn more for the rest of Russia’s gas still being sold. Gas is a commodity traded on global markets

    -cause an environmental disaster in NATO territory

    -send a warning to the EU that Russia still has dirty tricks up its sleeve

    -All of the above while still Claiming ‘plausible deniability’ to avoid liability in any breach of contract dispute in court with the EU.

    Bottom line: of course there is a chance that someone other than Russia did it. And yet, The idea of dismissing Russia out of hand as if they have no ability to benefit is patently absurd.

  65. Winger

    September 30, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    One constant issue with this site is the second-tier ability and pedigree of most of the authors. The subject matter and headlines are usually intriguing but the analysis and discussion are too often weak and lacking in depth.

  66. Tamerlane

    October 1, 2022 at 3:24 am

    Gary:

    “Except no such threat was ever present from Ukraine. Or NATO.”

    False. Completely false. And the entry of Mexico into a military alliance with China would not be accepted by us here in America as your Ukrainian propagandizing attempts to argue. Ukraine in an expansionist, warlike alliance like
    nato—is an existential threat to Russia. That’s obvious. The Russians learned the lesson when NATO bombed Yugoslavia/Serbia for having the temerity of attempting to put down a break-away province controlled by Salafi-sympathizing jihadists (the KLA)… then NATO held a referendum, while occupying the land by force, and severed it against Serbia’s will from Serbia and recognized it as an independent country—Kosovo.

    Does this at all sound familiar to you, Gary? Of course Russia cannot tolerate Ukraine in NATO, it would be a complete abdication of their duty. You, if you were a staff officer, would you not view an ever encroaching aggressive alliance as an existential threat were it to seek to surround your country, particularly while wielding an overwhelming advantage conventionally? Try to be intellectually honest.

  67. exordis

    October 1, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Amid all the speculation as to who might have done this, consider this seemingly far-fetched but not impossible scenario. Who is the direct beneficiary from this sabotage? China. Why? Because they will now be the primary customer for Russia’s gas. They could also, if they chose to, market that gas to the rest of the world on Chinese LNG tankers. Hunter Biden’s Chicom-controlled energy firm stands to make a killing, with 10% for the Big Guy of course.

    I don’t know if the Chicoms have the technical capability to do this kind of sabotage. I do know the US, Royal, and Russian Navies do. What if the US did this because Biden was ordered to by his Chicom paymasters via Hunter’s Chicom-controlled energy company? A company that’s controlled by the Chicoms’ counterpart to the CIA? China is totally on board with the WEF and the green new deal, because it knows that this will guarantee China’s world dominance, especially in energy, even though China does not actually own that energy and has no real intention of going “clean and green” itself.

  68. Ken

    October 1, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    People that say Russia blew up their own pipeline when all they had to do was flip a switch and turn the gas off are unreasoning animals. They could use the gas as a bribery tool. Now all that is lost. The West has lost all ability to reason and understand anything but simple ideas like He is a white hat and that man is the black hat. I don’t believe for a minute that this author is ignorant enough to believe He is just another Neo-con shrill that thinks America has the right to push their agenda by force on the rest of the world so they can they should and if it looks bad you as a patriot should lie about it. It is like the idiots that say Putin is a man man. The Russian army is so bad they can not even defeat a poor third world county like Ukraine. In the same breath they say Putin says he will use Nukes but he is just bluffing he will never do it. You know the mad man psychopath he would never do something like that. Russian Army is so week but they are a threat to take over the entire area of the EU. What a bunch of bafoons.

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