Ex-Ukrainian Intelligence Officer identified as mastermind behind Nord Stream attack

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.12 - 2023 12:28 PM CET

Photo: Ukrainska Pravda
Photo: Ukrainska Pravda

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According to a report by The Washington Post, citing unnamed officials from Ukraine and other European countries, former Ukrainian intelligence officer Roman Chervinsky is alleged to have coordinated Ukraine's attack on the Nord Stream gas pipeline last year.

Chervinsky, however, has denied any involvement in the operation.

The publication's sources claim that Chervinsky managed the logistics and support of a six-person team that planted explosive charges on the gas pipelines using a rented sailboat and deep-sea diving equipment.

On September 26, 2022, three explosions caused significant leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, leaving only one of the four gas links intact.

While Chervinsky reportedly did not act alone or plan the operation, he is said to have received orders from senior Ukrainian officials, eventually obeying Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Chervinsky denies involvement

Through a lawyer, Chervinsky issued a written statement to The Washington Post and Der Spiegel, stating, "All speculation about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream is spread by Russian propaganda without any basis."

The report also discusses Chervinsky's broader role in Ukrainian intelligence operations, including an elaborate 2020 plan to lure members of the Russian mercenary group Wagner to Belarus for capture and charges in Ukraine.

Chervinsky also claimed involvement in operations to assassinate pro-Russian separatist leaders in Ukraine and to kidnap a witness confirming Russia's downing of a Malaysian Airlines flight over Donbas in 2014.

Currently, Chervinsky is being held in a Kyiv pre-trial detention center on charges related to a conspiracy to recruit a Russian pilot to Ukraine's side, which allegedly led to a Russian missile attack causing casualties.

He attributes his arrest and prosecution to political revenge for criticizing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his administration.

The Washington Post's report notes that Chervinsky's alleged involvement in the Nord Stream explosion contradicts Zelensky's public denials of Ukraine's involvement. However, sources claim that Operation Nord Stream was designed to keep Zelensky unaware, with other covert Ukrainian operations targeting Russian forces also allegedly designed to circumvent the president.

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